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Apple's iPhone to Debut at Wal-Mart?

Posted by: Olga Kharif on November 19, 2008

Several blogs report that Apple’s iPhone will go on sale at Wal-Mart on Dec. 28. Would this be the right move for Apple? You bet.

Last year, Apple had to resort to price cuts to keep the iPhone moving off the shelves after, months after launch, excitement over the phone had cooled. This year, with the phone already selling for a mere $200, expanded distribution in low-price chains might be a better answer than another price cut. By Dec. 28, the holiday shopping rush will be over. Many well-to-do consumers who’ve wanted an iPhone will have already gotten one from Apple’s own store.

Enter Wal-Mart, many of whose shoppers may have not even considered the device as too expensive — but who should consider it. Research shows that iPhone purchases among people earning less than $50,000 are rising faster than those for people with higher income. People who earn less are canceling their home broadband and phone services and turning to the iPhone for Web access and calls. They enjoy cost savings as a result. So selling the phone at Wal-Mart makes all the sense in the world. Apple wouldn’t comment on rumors.

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Reader Comments

An Apple fan

November 20, 2008 10:39 AM

That could really hurt what Apple stands for in the long run. A large part of why Apple is successful is attributable to being uncompromising in its values and identity.

I could be wrong since Steve Jobs once commented that Apple seeks to provide the best products at reasonable prices to everyone. But I really think there's a culture factor involved. ...not to mention, the possible dilution of Apple's savvy customer group (prosumers, as some would call them).

Personally, I hope Apple doesn't make that move, since it would really compromise the "completeness" factor of the Apple experience that customers lust after.

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



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