UPDATE: With 2011 far behind us, you should try the Black Friday 2012 Smartphone deals.
The Friday after Thanksgiving is the biggest shopping day of the year. To lure in customers, wireless carriers and online retailers are offering big sales on smartphones.
All the carriers have special discounts on phones new and old. Of course, some deals are better than others.
AT&T has a number of models for free, like the HTC Status, an Android smartphone debuted in the summer. The Pantech Crossover annd others are also avalable for no money down with a contract.
In a post Black Friday-sale, all this carrrier’s models running Microsoft’s Windows Phone will be available for a penny on Saturday. This will apparently include the HTC Titan, which just launched Sunday at $200. Naturally, a two-year contract will be required to get these deals. On Sunday the focus will change to BlackBerrys, all of which will be a just penny with contract.
UPDATE: Verizon Wireless
Verizon has just announced the details of its Black Friday plans. Among the better smartphone deals: The LG Revolution will go for $50 with a new two-year customer agreement in this carrier’s stores after a $50 mail-in rebate only on Friday, or online on Nov. 24, 25 and 28. The Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY will be available for free from Friday, Nov. 24 through Nov 28. after a $50 mail-in rebate. There will also be bargains on less-advanced models and tablets
The U.S.’s third-largest carrier has put the Samsung Nexus S 4G on sale — it’s free with a $50 mail-inn rebate (11/25 – 11/27). The Samsung Conquer 4G is also free with contract (11/25 – 12/3).
UPDATE: U.S. Cellular
The regional carrier U.S. Cellular is offering all of its smartphones for under $100, though some require mail-in rebates to get under the mark. In addition, the new HTC Wildfire S is free with an instant rebate, and the Samsung Mesmerize (a Galaxy S phone) is free after a mail-in rebate.
The T-Mobile G2x is free today as a Black Friday sale. During the long weekend, this carrier has a number of other smartphones on sale, like the new T-Mobile myTouch which is $30 with contract. The LG DoublePlay is $50 with contract.
The online retailer Wirefly started a “Black Friday Now” sale early in the week. This includes the Samsung Droid Charge for $30 with a two-year contract, while the Motorola Droid X2 and Samsung Stratosphere are free with contract. The HTC Sensation 4G is going for half price: $100. This is just a few of the special deals, which include handsets from all the top carriers.
Amazon isn’t waiting around either and is having a massive sale in which almost a 100 models from Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint are selling for just a penny with a new contract. This includes the new Motorola Droid RAZR, which normally goes for $300. The online retailer will continue this deal until next Monday, Nov. 28.
Apple only has one sale a year, and it’s on Black Friday. This time, there are no special deals on the iPhone, but the iPod touch is available $21 to $41 off, depending on storage capacity. The base model is $178. The iPad 2 is on sale as well.
Not everyone is in the market for a new smartphone. Companies that make accessories like cases, screen protectors, and headsets are getting in the game as well. This includes Griffin, iSkin, and more.
Don’t Forget about Cyber Monday
The Monday after Thanksgiving has become a day when retailers encourage customers to shop online. “Cyber Monday” brings a second round of special deals.
For the most part, these have yet to be announced, but AT&T did let slip that it’s going to be offering the Motorola Atrix 4G, Samsung Infuse 4G, BlackBerry 9810, HTC Inspire 4G and LG Thrill 4G for a penny with contract next Monday.
Editor’s Note: This article will be updated throughout the week as Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals are announced. Please check back for the latest on smartphone bargains.