Wal-Mart to carry iPhone after holidays?

The retailing giant is apparently set to add the iPhone to its lineup, but it won't feature Apple's mobile phone until after the holiday shopping rush has ended.

Tom Krazit Former Staff writer, CNET News
Tom Krazit writes about the ever-expanding world of Google, as the most prominent company on the Internet defends its search juggernaut while expanding into nearly anything it thinks possible. He has previously written about Apple, the traditional PC industry, and chip companies. E-mail Tom.
Tom Krazit
2 min read
Apple could soon have another distribution channel for the iPhone: Wal-Mart. CNET

The largest retailer in the world could be getting the iPhone.

Wal-Mart won't have the iPhone at every location come the end of December, if a report from the Boy Genius Report is accurate. But Apple will have iPhones in 2,500 stores in the U.S. and an additional 69 Sam's Club warehouse stores on December 28, according to the report.

It's not clear what price will be charged for the iPhone inside Wal-Mart, but it would be hard to imagine Apple embracing the idea of significant discounts even though CEO Steve Jobs has talked of needing to stay aware of lower-priced competitors. Wal-Mart also offers T-Mobile's Android G1 phone, and though CNNMoney.com had reported that the famously low-price retailer would be offering the G1 for a $30 discount, a Wal-Mart store in San Leandro, Calif., was selling the G1 for the standard $179 on Wednesday morning.

Apple has shown a willingness to embrace the big-box types over the past few years. iPods can be found at retail stores across the country, and electronics behemoth Best Buy devotes significant space for all of Apple's major products inside many of its stores.

But what's surprising about this report is the timing, however: three days after Christmas? Perhaps Wal-Mart wouldn't have been able to get ready or train their staff in time for the holiday season, but with iPhone sales expected to decline slightly off last quarter's totals, you'd think Apple would have wanted a major distribution channel on line during the holiday rush.

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