Walmart's $97 iPhone 3GS is a bad buy

iPhone 3gsApple's popular iPhone 3GS is available at Walmart for $97 -- the lowest price we've seen on a new iPhone and possibly the worst price for an iPhone 3GS.

Sure, $97 sounds like a great deal for an iPhone 3GS, which will soon be able to run the iPhone 4.0 software that enables multitasking and many other new features, but the newest iPhone is all but assured for a mid-June launch.

At this point in the game, especially since you will be locked into a 2-year contract with a higher $325 early termination fee, you're better off saving up for the newest iPhone, which will have a faster processor, better battery life and a front facing camera for video chatting. There's actually a lot to like about the new iPhone, which our sister site Engadget details.

If you need more proof that this isn't a good deal, don't just take our word for it. The MacRumors Buyers Guide tracks the best time to buy any Apple product based on news, rumors, time since last refresh and more. The guide rates the iPhone as, "Don't Buy - Updates soon" and lists the days since the last iPhone upgrade as almost double the average length of time.

Reportedly the stock of the iPhone 3GS is running low, but it is still very likely that $99 will soon be the standard price of an iPhone 3GS. With most gadgets, last year's model will suffice, but when you are going to be locked into a cell phone for two years, you are better off buying the new model. In this case the new iPhone, which will reportedly cost $199, is a much better deal.
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