iPhone 5 Apple Store

Folks looking to purchase a new handset soon may be interested to hear that Apple is expected to host an iPhone upgrade event this week at its retail stores. The news comes from 9to5Mac, who says the company will begin emailing owners of older iPhones tomorrow, notifying them of the program.

According to the report, the move is part of a larger effort to boost handset sales and the promotion will kick-off on May 8th. The deal will be offered in a number of states across the US, and will ‘blend nicely’ with Apple’s retail store-based iPhone trade-in program it introduced in August of last year…

Here’s 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman with more:

Apple is planning to hold an “enormous” iPhone-related event in its stores this week in order to boost sales, according to a source with knowledge of the initiative. Beginning May 8th, the source said, Apple will be contacting upgrade-eligible iPhone users with older iPhone models via email to come into their local Apple Store to update to a new iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c. […]

Apple will brief Apple Retail management on the initiative tomorrow, according to the source. Additionally, Apple is said to be readying various other new marketing and sales initiatives to improve the sales of the iPhone in its retail stores.

There’s a growing sentiment in consumer electronics that the smartphone market has become too saturated, but Apple is showing no signs of slowing down. Last quarter, it sold 43.7 million handsets—a record for the 3-month period—and the larger, thinner ‘iPhone 6‘ is also expected to set precedent.

It’s unclear at this point what the ‘enormous iPhone-related event’ will entail, such as pricing and other details, but it’ll likely be in line with discounts from other retailers. Target, for instance, has the iPhone 5s starting at $119 with contract, and both Best Buy and RadioShack have the 16GB model for $99.

Also of note is that Angela Ahrendts officially took over as Apple’s new retail chief last week, and will likely be overseeing the program.