It is heavily rumored that Apple has decided it is going to sell iPhones at Wal-Mart. There have been various, unsubstantiated reports, over the weekend that Apple iPhones were going to be available to Wal-Mart, but now these media reports are being confirmed from multiple sources. Although the announcement is not official, with both Apple and Wal-Mart being quiet about the event, there are leaks coming in that making a pretty compelling argument.
Reuters reported that “Employees at various Wal-Mart stores stated on Monday that the retailer will sell the iPhone in a week or two”.
According to The Associated Press “A Wal-Mart employee in Uniondale, N.Y. stated on Monday that the store will start selling Apple’s iPhone, confirming media reports over the weekend.” It was stated that the store had no inventory yet and they still do not know when the iPhones will go on sale at Wal-Mart but it is reported that it may before Christmas.
Bloomberg said “it talked to employees at five Wal-Marts in California who said the phones would be in stores by the end of the month.” They also reported that training had begun in Wal-Mart stores for how to sell the iPhone.
Best Buy was the first independent retail chain to sell the Apple iPhone and Wal-Mart would be the second. Of course the iPhone is also offered in Apple Stores and AT&T stores.
Meantime both Apple and Wal-Mart are neither confirming nor denying all the reports about the additional retail selling of the iPhone. The iPhone is the world’s most popular selling phone, having sold 6.9 million of them since the iPhone was launched by Apple in July 2008. Currently the iPhone sells in the United States for $199 for the 8 gigabytes of memory version or $299 for the larger 16 gigabytes of memory.
The rumors have it that Apple may be offering a 4 gigabyte iPhone for the Wal-Mart to sell and the price that is heard the most in the cyberworld is $99. This is an unconfirmed, but persistent rumor. If the rumors are accurate and the iPhone will be offered at Wal-Mart then this will be good for sales volume for Apple as the Wal-Mart customer base would be one way for Apple to tap into a growing market.
Consumers need to remember that whatever they pay for the Apple iPhone at Wal-Mart they also have to sign-up for the AT&T service that cost at a minimum $30 a month for unlimited Web access and phone service. If the consumer wants test messaging that is currently running an extra $5 a month for 200 messages or you can have unlimited texting for $20 a month. Just remember it is the price of the iPhone and the service, and the service is at a minimum $360 a year.
As our economy sinks deeper into the recently-realized recession consumers are looking for cheaper and cheaper deals. Apple knows that it will have to do something to keep sales numbers climbing for the iPhone and to keep its shareholders happy with its stock price. Wal-mart also has to diversify and find new and innovative ways to keep consumers shopping for the cheaper prices. This may be a great win-win situation for both Wal-Mart and Apple.