Today brings news that Apple is matching its competitors' prices on iPhones at its own retail stores, but the company doesn't want to make a big deal about it. MacRumors reports that Apple has implemented a new quiet policy that allows employees to price match on all iPhone 4S models and the iPhone 4, so if you want to buy directly from Apple but still want to get the best price possible, now is your chance. It should be noted, however, that Apple will only be price matching on sales made in-store, meaning online orders aren't eligible for the promotion.
That, obviously, is because Apple requires that customers present evidence of a lower price before it will drop its own prices. Apparently, Apple is willing to part with the iPhone 4 for as low as $49.99, while iPhone 4S models can dip down to $149, $249, and $349. That's a discount of $49.01 on all models, which isn't too bad.
Apple has rolled out this price match promotion in response to carriers and other major retailers who have been dropping the price on the iPhone in order to get more people through their doors. In the past, Apple hasn't really cared too much about partners dropping their prices below its own, with the mentality being that a sale is a sale, and more having more iPhones in the hands of consumers is a good thing. Apple makes more money on iPhone sales at its own stores though, so we can't really blame the company for trying to bring in as much money as it can on each iPhone sold.
There isn't any word on how long this promotion will last, and Apple is telling employees that they can only price match offers from "approved" retailers and carriers. We don't know which retailers those are, precisely, but it seems safe to assume that prices from all the big carries and retails chains (AT&T, Best Buy, Verizon, etc.) are fair game. Keep an ear to SlashGear, as we'll be sure to let you know if Apple gets any more specific about this price match promotion.