Employees at five California stores confirmed that Walmart will offer iPhones by the end of December. Employees are currently being trained on how to sell the device, all five reported.
Before now, the iPhone had been sold only by Apple and AT&T Inc., and starting this past September, Best Buy.
But what about the rumored $99 4GB iPhone? The companies won't say a peep other than confirming the $199 8GB iPhone and the $299 16GB iPhone:
Analysts say Apple may offer a discontinued 4-gigabyte version through Bentonville, Arkansas-based Wal-Mart and sell it for $99. Apple currently sells two models at $199 and $299.
“A $99, Apple-branded cell phone is inevitable,” said Shaw Wu, an analyst for Kaufman Brothers in San Francisco. “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, Wu said in a Dec. 5 note.
Apple spokesman Steve Dowling wouldn’t respond to the report and said the company “does not comment on rumor or speculation.” Wal-Mart spokesman Dan Fogleman said the company hasn’t made an official announcement on an iPhone offering and has no comment. AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel declined to comment.
Based on available Wal-Mart training materials and advertising (pictured above) we've received, however, it seems that this rumor is unlikely. The advertising shown only lists 8GB iPhones for sale at $197, without any hints of a cheaper model.
Walmart may reportedly have the devices in stock the day before Christmas, according to one employee.Another store clerk reported that they'll go on sale Dec. 28.