Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will soon become the second mass-market retail chain to carry the Apple iPhone device, according to several of the company’s employees.
The popular media-equipped smartphone is expected to be available at Wal-Mart in time for Christmas, and workers are already being trained on how to sell the device, reports indicate.
A rumour that Wal-Mart may offer a discounted $99 version of the iPhone (with 4GB of memory) has not yet been confirmed, but some analysts expect Apple to employ such a strategy, one way or another, in the near future.
“A $99, Apple-branded cell phone is inevitable,” said San Francisco-based Kaufman Brothers analyst, Shaw Wu, in a note to clients. “One of the key things Apple needs to do to drive broader iPhone adoption is to build a more complete product line” with low- end, mid-range and high-end products.
Apple extended the reach of its newly-discounted iPhone 3G device in September, through a deal with Best Buy. The cheapest iPhone currently on the market is a $199 model with 8GB of memory.
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