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Sources: Best Buy to sell Apple's iPhone 3G nationwide

post #1 of 77
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Best Buy Co., Inc. is expected to announce as early as Wednesday plans to begin selling the iPhone 3G next month, making it the first independent U.S. reseller to offer the the coveted touchscreen handset outside of Apple and AT&T.

People familiar with the matter say the electronics retailer has reached an agreement with Cupertino-based Apple that will see the iPhone sold at 970 Best Buy stores in addition to 16 Best Buy Mobile specialty outlets beginning September 7th.

Best Buy already offers Apple's complete line of iPod digital music players at all its stores and recently expanded sales of the company's Mac computer line to more than 600 of its larger footprint locations.

Word of the move comes just one week after Best Buy announced that it has completed upgrading its Best Buy Mobile departments inside each of the company's U.S.-based stores -- a factor which may have been instrumental to the iPhone deal.

Every facility now has a dedicated cellphone section with similarly committed staff who are trained 80 hours each to help customers buy mobile devices. Â*The focus and reach of the program may have swayed Apple, according to people with knowledge of the situation. Â*Before, at least some of these phone sales would have been handled by more superficially knowledgeable floor workers.

The program is already credited by Best Buy as having sparked interest in premium, media-savvy devices like the Samsung Instinct, which is one of iPhone 3G's most direct rivals and is only available through Best Buy and Sprint. Â*Sales of this class of device have grown tenfold year over year at each store that has a Best Buy Mobile presence, according to the retailer.

Appropriately, Carphone Warehouse -- which itself is the exclusive third-party reseller for iPhones in the UK -- has been coordinating the rollout of Best Buy Mobile ever since the effort began in 2006.

Best Buy is known to have been angling for its share of iPhone sales a full year ago with the initial goal of carrying the touchscreen device itself by that fall, capitalizing on a surge in holiday demand. Those people knowledgeable of the earlier plans now tell AppleInsider that the store chain was set aside by Apple after rampant unlocking became a concern, even with purchases from Apple's own stores.

The rejuvenated expansion plans could be essential for Apple, which has seen long lineups at U.S. stores ever since iPhone 3G first went on sale. Best Buy's existence as a third source will expand the number of distribution points just as the holiday shopping season begins and demand increases, potentially giving customers more places to buy the phone while dodging lengthy queues that would otherwise get worse without more points of sale.

Representatives for Best Buy did not return calls requesting comment by press time.
post #2 of 77
Maybe the estimated 5 year agreement between Apple and at&t is not actually 5 years.... this could be a good sign.

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post #3 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

*Before, at least some of these phone sales would have been handled by more superficially knowledgeable floor workers.

That's one way to put it. Fucking clueless retards would probably be more accurate, but I understand the need to be PC.
post #4 of 77
Can you please find out if the Best Buys in Puerto Rico will also be selling the iPhones? We have been totally forgotten here by AT&T and by Apple... Although Puerto Rico falls in the United States iTunes market, and AT&T considers us part of the U.S. as far as the Nation Plan goes, we have not been blessed with the iPhone's presence in local stores... Will Best Buy be able to carry them? Local AT&T customers had been able to buy and activate 1st gen iPhones without a problem through AT&T...
post #5 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guartho View Post

That's one way to put it. Fucking clueless retards would probably be more accurate, but I understand the need to be PC.

Ya think!

Last Christmas I couldn't help myself, and I ended up helping sell a young yuppie couple on both an iMac and Macbook Pro. The supposed BestBuy "Apple" person was telling them it might be difficult to be compatible with Windows.

I walked out to my car, brought back my MBP 17 with VMware Fusion running XP Pro SP3 (sorry, folks, but is a requirement for work) and fired it up in the store. I had a crowd around the Apple display until some dork of a clueless "manager" told me to pack up and leave.

Unbelievable! I just sold two systems for this clown and his associate! WTF?
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Pity the agnostic dyslectic. They spend all their time contemplating the existence of dog.
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post #6 of 77
This would be a huge benefit to Apple. This deal would cause iPhone sales to spike and would be a strategic move ahead of the holiday season.
post #7 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Maybe the estimated 5 year agreement between Apple and at&t is not actually 5 years.... this could be a good sign.

AT&T has said it has the iPhone until 2010. The contract was renegotiated so presumably they had it until 2009 under the old contract.
post #8 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by justflybob View Post

Ya think!

Last Christmas I couldn't help myself, and I ended up helping sell a young yuppie couple on both an iMac and Macbook Pro. The supposed BestBuy "Apple" person was telling them it might be difficult to be compatible with Windows.

I walked out to my car, brought back my MBP 17 with VMware Fusion running XP Pro SP3 (sorry, folks, but is a requirement for work) and fired it up in the store. I had a crowd around the Apple display until some dork of a clueless "manager" told me to pack up and leave.

Unbelievable! I just sold two systems for this clown and his associate! WTF?

Because they are told to push the PCs. Or are a PC user that just got assigned there for the day. I frequently go into the bust Buy and listen to the junk they tell people to get them to go look at PCs instead. Have been told to leave for interfering with them before. ( Correcting them on the junk they were spewing out)
post #9 of 77
Apple should limit its involvement with Best Buy to only what benefits Apple to strategically increase market share. I like the store in so many ways, but:

I purchased a expensive Kitchen Aid oven from them months ago. It is still missing a part. Geek Squad hold time frequently is about an hour to schedule a service call. That's when they are calling you to say the part is in. You don't get a time window until the morning of the service. They then forget to bring the part they ordered on the previous two visits, but there are 21 in stock. Apparently, everyone is a supervisor, but no one takes responsibility. They only have first names and they are at places all over the country. They never express an apology because that's just how business is done! I have tried to have the part mailed to me to put it on myself-just two screws, I can handle it. This isn't Apple customer service reputation.
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post #10 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guartho View Post

That's one way to put it. Fucking clueless retards would probably be more accurate, but I understand the need to be PC.

They can't be as bad as Staples. I went to get a bluetooth mouse to replace my ailing mighty one. I asked a sales guy if they had any (why waste time looking at each and every box when they have capable staff, right?) 'Sure, let's see' was his reply and I then stood next to him as he began reading the schpiel at back of each box, one at the time! I don't think he understood why I just walked away.

But I always wonder about the effectiveness of having Apple products at Best Buy. There is a wall of LCD's all lit up with the Windows logo. There is at least one full isle of Windows machines and one with Windows Laptops. The Apple stand looks kind of measly. An Apple Store on the other hand gives you the impression that Apple is everywhere and in plentiful supply. People even stop outside just to gaze inside. But if BestBuy sell Macs... I guess its OK.
post #11 of 77
Will this likely continue the silly requirement for in-store activation, or has AT&T finally figured out that pirates outside the US now have lower-hanging fruits available elsewhere?

I can only imagine the damage done to your brand-new iPhone by the Best Buy monkeys when they pull it out of the box and plug it into some virus-infested floor model PC while attempting to 'install AT&T' on it...
post #12 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

Will this likely continue the silly requirement for in-store activation, or has AT&T finally figured out that pirates outside the US now have lower-hanging fruits available elsewhere?

Also, I wonder if people will be able to make a purchase with a Best Buy gift card. If so, expect a lot of iPhone 3G sales after Christmas.
post #13 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Maybe the estimated 5 year agreement between Apple and at&t is not actually 5 years.... this could be a good sign.

It would actually be beneficial to AT&T to have more phones sold regardless of outlet. As long as they're still the only cell phone provider, it just means more activations and more $ for them.
post #14 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by amac4me View Post

This would be a huge benefit to Apple. This deal would cause iPhone sales to spike and would be a strategic move ahead of the holiday season.

It also explains the stock climb the last couple days. I wish I was an insider trader, obviously there are plenty of them out there.
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Emailing video from iPhone to Apple TV , sort of..
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post #15 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Maybe the estimated 5 year agreement between Apple and at&t is not actually 5 years.... this could be a good sign.

What does Bestbuy have todo with the Apple / AT& agreement? Bestbuy sells phones, AT&T sells service....
post #16 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by webfrasse View Post

What does Bestbuy have todo with the Apple / AT& agreement? Bestbuy sells phones, AT&T sells service....

I agree. Carrier exclusivity isn't the same as chain exclusivity.
post #17 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

Will this likely continue the silly requirement for in-store activation, or has AT&T finally figured out that pirates outside the US now have lower-hanging fruits available elsewhere?

I can only imagine the damage done to your brand-new iPhone by the Best Buy monkeys when they pull it out of the box and plug it into some virus-infested floor model PC while attempting to 'install AT&T' on it...

Sorry to burst your bubble, but it looks like you still have to deal with in-store activation...

"Last week, Best Buy announced it had completed a two-year conversion of its stores to include upgraded cell-phone departments under the Best Buy Mobile brand. It has upgraded its computer systems to handle cell-phone activation and spent 250,000 hours training its employees."

Let's hope those employees that had 250,000 hours of training, didn't need 250,001 hours...

http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/080812/tec_b...hone.html?.v=2

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Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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post #18 of 77
Seem like Sept. 7 is the date. It's just been announced as an update to the article on MacRumors, which credits AI for the original story. C'mon AI, you post the rumor story and MacRumors scoops you with the official announcement??

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post #19 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The rejuvenated expansion plans could be essential for Apple, which has seen long lineups at U.S. stores ever since iPhone 3G first went on sale. Best Buy's existence as a third source will expand the number of distribution points just as the holiday shopping season begins and demand increases, potentially giving customers more places to buy the phone while dodging lengthy queues that would otherwise get worse without more points of sale.

So the long lines are because there just arn't that many places to buy the iPhone?
I thought it was short supply.
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post #20 of 77
This is funny. Just a few days ago a Best (sic) Buy employee told me how bad the iPhone was and how I had wasted my money on crap. As someone commented at least in the AT&T Stores and Apple Stores the people selling the iPhone were knowledgeable. Well best buys staff sucks and they are likely to do a bad job of selling the iPhone.
post #21 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaka View Post

This is funny. Just a few days ago a Best (sic) Buy employee told me how bad the iPhone was and how I had wasted my money on crap. As someone commented at least in the AT&T Stores and Apple Stores the people selling the iPhone were knowledgeable. Well best buys staff sucks and they are likely to do a bad job of selling the iPhone.

You should see them try to sell an AppleTV- what a frk'n mess!
post #22 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by city View Post

Apple should limit its involvement with Best Buy to only what benefits Apple to strategically increase market share. I like the store in so many ways, but:

I purchased a expensive Kitchen Aid oven from them months ago. It is still missing a part. Geek Squad hold time frequently is about an hour to schedule a service call. That's when they are calling you to say the part is in. You don't get a time window until the morning of the service. They then forget to bring the part they ordered on the previous two visits, but there are 21 in stock. Apparently, everyone is a supervisor, but no one takes responsibility. They only have first names and they are at places all over the country. They never express an apology because that's just how business is done! I have tried to have the part mailed to me to put it on myself-just two screws, I can handle it. This isn't Apple customer service reputation.

Apple should send in secret shoppers from local Mac user groups to Best Buys across the country, and test their Mac people.
post #23 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by city View Post

Apple should limit its involvement with Best Buy to only what benefits Apple to strategically increase market share. I like the store in so many ways, but:

I purchased a expensive Kitchen Aid oven from them months ago. It is still missing a part. Geek Squad hold time frequently is about an hour to schedule a service call. That's when they are calling you to say the part is in. You don't get a time window until the morning of the service. They then forget to bring the part they ordered on the previous two visits, but there are 21 in stock. Apparently, everyone is a supervisor, but no one takes responsibility. They only have first names and they are at places all over the country. They never express an apology because that's just how business is done! I have tried to have the part mailed to me to put it on myself-just two screws, I can handle it. This isn't Apple customer service reputation.

Apple services their products no matter where you buy them.
post #24 of 77
[QUOTE=city;1292857]

Wow! I've got several posts in a row, as I see that I'm not alone. Last night, I had a lot of problems trying to get this post posted. Apparently, even though the site kept telling me to try again, it actually did post each time, until I finally gave up.
post #25 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

You should see them try to sell an AppleTV- what a frk'n mess!

Just try to buy a GPS unit from Best Buy, Office Depot, etc. Talk abut taking a ride on the 'clue train'.

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

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post #26 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Maybe the estimated 5 year agreement between Apple and at&t is not actually 5 years.... this could be a good sign.

If you think this agreement means that you will be able to buy a iPhone at Best Buy without an AT&T contract, or on another provider, then you are mistaken. If you already have an iPhone, this news means nothing to you. If you want to get an iPhone, this news still means basically nothing to you. In fact, other than Best Buy shareholders, this news means nothing to almost everyone.
post #27 of 77
ugh. "Best Buy" is the lowest of low. Why not just go all the way and strike up a distribution deal with WalMart?? You could give away a 30oz bag of free pork rinds with each purchase!
post #28 of 77
They'll be selling them, but you'll have to go to AT&T to get it activated?

Skip
post #29 of 77
I get a kick out of listening to some of the misinformation the crack staff at best buy gives to it's customers.
You get what you pay for and as long as the best buy salary is just above minimum wage, turn over will be high and the staff will be clueless.

Only unlocked iphones for sale would get me to purchase from B.B but THAT is just a fantasy.
post #30 of 77
How will they activate the phones in-store? In a Bestbuy store?
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post #31 of 77
If you read the article, it explains that they have just completed an upgrade process so they are now able to activate in store.
post #32 of 77
With all the mishaps during launch, oddly the hype on iPhone is still going strong. Am I the only person to think Apple and their phone carriers are charging wayyyyy to much for service?

I always like Apple products, until they slapped a glossy screen on to iMacs. They released sloppy 10.5 with frequent updates to resemble MS. Now, they managing to convince mass consumers their phone is revolutionary when the truth is just their competitor are not thinking creatively enough!

Don't get me wrong, I think Apple still produce good above-average products, but the hype is really overkill.
post #33 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Techboy View Post

With all the mishaps during launch, oddly the hype on iPhone is still going strong. Am I the only person to think Apple and their phone carriers are charging wayyyyy to much for service?

Do you currently own a smartphone with unlimited data?
post #34 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Techboy View Post

With all the mishaps during launch, oddly the hype on iPhone is still going strong. Am I the only person to think Apple and their phone carriers are charging wayyyyy to much for service?

I always like Apple products, until they slapped a glossy screen on to iMacs. They released sloppy 10.5 with frequent updates to resemble MS. Now, they managing to convince mass consumers their phone is revolutionary when the truth is just their competitor are not thinking creatively enough!

Don't get me wrong, I think Apple still produce good above-average products, but the hype is really overkill.

They are charging too much for service, but they are getting away with it because the competitors haven't caught up in the gee-whiz dept. It's the "elegance" of the UI that really sways people, especially those who aren't comfortable with the relatively tech-y UIs of, say, Blackberrys. But RIM isn't going to just roll over and die - BB has been a huge success and I'll bet the next model will be competitive with the iPhone's UI. And there are still lots of people who prefer buttons when typing, over the touch-screen. I've yet to see anyone using an iPhone who can type any near as fast as I can on my Pearl.

There is some hype, although iPhone is a great product for sure. This may be changing with the 3G, but the 1st (i.e., most important) impression of the original iPhone, in corporate IT/telecom depts., was that it's more of a fun appliance for personal use rather than a serious business tool. That is BB's market, and RIM will fight to keep it. Maybe that will mean competition for iPhone, to some extent, and that can only be good for consumers...
post #35 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdnalsi View Post

How will they activate the phones in-store? In a Bestbuy store?

Is that a joke?
And why no Circuit Chitty? Let's see how low can we go!
post #36 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Techboy View Post

With all the mishaps during launch, oddly the hype on iPhone is still going strong. Am I the only person to think Apple and their phone carriers are charging wayyyyy to much for service?

Yes....
post #37 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hutcho View Post

If you think this agreement means that you will be able to buy a iPhone at Best Buy without an AT&T contract, or on another provider, then you are mistaken. If you already have an iPhone, this news means nothing to you. If you want to get an iPhone, this news still means basically nothing to you. In fact, other than Best Buy shareholders, this news means nothing to almost everyone.

Of course. This has nothing to do with the arrangement between Apple and AT&T. As long as the account is going to AT&T, which it will, AT&T is only too happy to have more retailers sell the phones. The more places it's sold, the more accounts AT&T gets from it.
post #38 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by walshbj View Post

It also explains the stock climb the last couple days. I wish I was an insider trader, obviously there are plenty of them out there.

No. Not at all. The markets have been going up because the price of oil has kept falling. Apple's price is just following that trend.
post #39 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdnalsi View Post

How will they activate the phones in-store? In a Bestbuy store?

A couple things come to mind.

For one, It's not actually required to activate the store that I can tell. What is required is that you sign a contract and associate the phone with the account, which is retrieved by scanning the bar code on the box. When I bought mine, they couldn't get the activation working right then, the guy said to just take it home and hook it up to iTunes. iTunes will take care of the rest.

Another, all that's needed is a cut-down version of iTunes to activate it, a version was made just for retail activation. I don't know if the Best Buy point of sale system can run iTunes, all it takes is a small notebook computer.
post #40 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

So the long lines are because there just arn't that many places to buy the iPhone?
I thought it was short supply.

It's a little of both. The bigger stores seem to have the phones, or so I've been told, but it's the time it takes to process each order that's holding sales back as well. If a sale takes a half hour to complete with the work on the account (having to explain service options to people etc.), activating the phone (or phones), then 95 sales equals 47.5 hours of sales time for the phones per store on average, per day. Thats a lot of time, and there are only so many people in each store who can do that at once.
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