Test your attention to detail. Are these people in line to see the pope or to get an Apple product?
It's Apple's annual iPhone launch. Fans are lining up and pulling out their wallets.
But for the first time ever, you may be able to tuck that credit card away and get a new iPhone free.
If you are considering the lowest cost iPhone 5C, with its colorful plastic body, you can get it free of charge several different ways.
Sprint will give you a free iPhone 5C if you switch to sprint from AT&T or Verizon (but make sure you are not still under contract with them, or you will face huge termination fees.)
But there's another way to get it free, without switching carriers, by simply trading in an older iPhone 4.
How to get it (almost) free:
1. The iPhone 5C is just $99 with a two-year contract.
2. The Apple store, as well as online trade-in sites like Gazelle and Nextworth, will give you at least $100 for your old iPhone 4, as of Sept. 19.
3. That makes the iPhone 5C essentially free. Yes, you will have to pay upgrade and activation fees.
4. You'll get even more for your used iPhone 4S, as much as $200 at some trade-in sites. In that case, you can get the new $199 iPhone 5S free.
But the simplest thing is to walk into the Apple store in the coming days, hand them your 2 or 3-year-old iPhone 4, and walk out with a colorful iPhone 5C for free.
Discounts on new phone
Meantime, there's good news this time, if you are on a budget. You can get both new iPhones for less than sticker price, for the first time ever on a launch day.
- Walmart and Target will both sell the new iPhone 5C for just $79, with a new 2 year contract (it's normally $99).
- If you have a Target Red credit card, you get it for even less, $76.
- Meantime, Walmart will sell the new iPhone 5S for $189, $10 less than Apple.
One caution: bloggers say some Walmart stores charge sales tax on the non -subsidized $600 price of new iPhones, depending on location.
In that case, you would be better off buying from Apple, which taxes only on the "subsidized" $99 or $199 price tag.
That way you don't waste your money.
Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co.
"Like" John Matarese on Facebook
Follow John on Twitter (@DWYM)
More Apple Stories
John Matarese reports on hot deals this weekend, and what to wait to buy.
Apple CEO Tim Cook says consumer demand for new iPhones has been "staggering" and "hard to comprehend." That helped the company report record-smashing earnings for its latest quarter and primed its stock for a rally Wednesday.
John Matarese reports on one of the biggest deals expected for Black Friday
Consumer Reports’ recent survey covering more than 42,000 electronics purchases can steer you to the best places to buy.
Thousands of people lined up to be the first to get the new Apple phones — the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
Consumer Reports’ shoppers were there, too.
Considering a new iPhone 6? An expert tells us how to get the most money for your current phone and how to keep your personal info safe as you transition.
We wanted to hear from you about the big news coming out of Apple today. We caught up with people coming out of the Apple store at Eton.
Apple says you can order iPhone, iPhone 6 starting Sept. 12.