RadioShack, Best Buy Raise Mobile Ante With Price-Match, Rebate Programs

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RadioShack and Best Buy are offering new price incentives on mobile phones as they vie for wireless market share.

For its part, RadioShack will begin matching competitors’ advertised prices for cellphones. The low-price guarantee applies to identical pre- and post-paid mobile phones that appear in newspaper ads and circulars, and is good for up to 30 days after purchase at nearly 4,500 company-owned stores nationwide.

The program is designed to bolster RadioShack’s position in the increasingly competitive mobile category, which is the company’s largest sales segment and its primary growth vehicle. It is unclear however how the ad match guarantee will impact earnings, which the chain forecast would fall as much as 78 percent for the fourth quarter.

“In a fast-changing and increasingly complex mobility marketplace, it is vitally important for consumers to have the assurance that they have made the right choice,” said RadioShack executive VP/chief merchandising officer Scott Young. “In this challenging economy, RadioShack is focused on delivering our customers greater peace of mind as they consider where and when to buy this essential tool for navigating daily life.”

The offer joins other incentives such as a trade-in program for pre-owned products and free tech support for mobile devices purchased at the chain.

The low price guarantee will not apply to online offers or unactivated handsets.

Meanwhile, Best Buy is offering $50 gift cards to customers who upgrade to new mobile phones by Dec. 31, 2012. To be eligible, consumers were required to register their phone numbers at

by Feb. 12, 2012 and activate a two-year contract by year’s end.

The $50 gift card offer was introduced during a Best Buy Super Bowl TV spot that showcased 10 mobile technology innovators including Philippe Kahn, who created the camera phone, and Neil Papworth, who is credited with sending the first SMS text message. The offer is valid on Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and TMobile phones and plans.

“We are thrilled to have a stage as significant as the Big Game to showcase all that Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile have to offer,” said Shawn Score, president of Best Buy Mobile. “We have spent the last five years building and improving the mobile phone buying experience in our stores, and we are confident in our ability to deliver a world-class experience that features any carrier, any phone, any plan combined with unbiased advice.”


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