Sprint (S) seems to be attempting to desperately attract new customers and sell more smartphones — even the pricey iPhone, which carries a higher subsidy than comparable handsets. The nation’s third largest carrier is now offering a $100 American Express (AXP) gift card with the purchase of any smartphone, including the Photon QEVO 4G LTE, Galaxy S III and even the iPhone 4S. The special offer is available online and runs from August 14th through August 26th, and it brings pricing on the 16GB iPhone 4S all the way down to $49.99. The gift card is also only available for new lines and not for current customers looking to upgrade.

According to Business Insider, Apple (AAPL) Stores are matching Sprint’s offer with $100 in-store credit when customers buy a new iPhone 4S and sign up for a new line with the carrier.

Last week, Sprint slashed its prices for the iPhone 4S, offering the 16GB model for $149.99 with a waived the $36 activation fee. The carrier also reduced the prices of the 32GB and 64GB iPhone 4S models by $50 each, and waived activation fees for them as well.

Apple reportedly plans to unveil its next-generation iPhone at a press conference on September 12th and the device is expected to launch a week later on September 21st.

Read [Sprint] Read [Business Insider]

Dan joins the BGR team as the Android Editor, covering all things relating to Google’s premiere operating system. His work has appeared on Fox News, Fox Business and Yahoo News, among other publications. When he isn’t testing the latest devices or apps, he can be found enjoying the sights and sounds of New York City.