Samsung Galaxy S3 price drops precede Galaxy S4 launch

AT&T officially drops the price on its Samsung Galaxy S3, instantly making it a new bargain handset.

Samsung Galaxy S4
U.S. carriers will begin slashing Galaxy S3 prices to make way for this Galaxy S4. Sarah Tew/CNET

Just as expected, carriers have begun to slash prices on Samsung's Galaxy S3 handset in anticipation of stocking the bigger, fancier Samsung Galaxy S4 successor.

AT&T announced this morning that beginning today, its Galaxy S3 will sell for $99.99 with a two-year contract, an instant $100 reduction. Expect other carriers to follow suit.

Galaxy S4 preorders begin on April 16 for AT&T. The $250 in-contract Galaxy S4 cost makes the Galaxy S3 look like a bargain, a tactic that will help the carrier clear old stock to make room on the shelves for the latest model.

Bargain-hunters will still find robust smartphone features on the Galaxy S3 for a fraction of the cost, which is one compelling reason to purchase the earlier model .

Those who prefer all of the Galaxy S4's whistles and bells -- like the 13-megapixel camera, monster processor, and heaping software extras -- will have to shell out more.

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