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Wal-Mart to begin selling iPhone post holidays - reports

post #1 of 27
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Mega-discount chain Wal-Mart, along with subsidiary Sams Clubs, will join Best Buy in offering Apple's iPhone 3G to their customers just days after Christmas, according to new reports.

In an email to clients on Wednesday, JRPG Research analyst Jamie Townsend said his firm has reason to believe that Wal-Mart will begin stocking the touch-screen handset by the end of December.

"We expect purchase of an iPhone will still require a two year contract with AT&T and is likely to be priced the same or less than at AT&T or Apple stores," he wrote.

The analyst, who is forecasting Apple to sell 8 million of the devices during the three-month period ending December, said the move would reinforce confidence that AT&T will be able to maintain strong new subscriber growth amid a slowdown in the consumer market.

He expects Apple will be just one of several smartphone vendors that will ramp up competition in the smartphone market by discounting their excess inventories immediately following the Christmas holiday.

Townsend's report echos claims published by BGR on Tuesday. The mobile phone rumor site published a memo from Wal-Mart to its employees announcing plans to launch the iPhone nationally on December 28th.

"We are pleased to announce that Wal-Mart has reached agreement with Apple to offer iPhone 3G in Wal-Mart and Wal-Mart-managed Sam’s Club Connection Centers nationwide beginning December 28, 2008," the memo says. "AT&T will support Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club with the activation process for iPhone 3G, and we need all National Retail employees engaged to ensure a successful launch."

In total, approximately 2,500 Wal-Mart locations and 69 Sam’s Club locations that use the discount chain's ordering system are expected to carry the device. Training for Wal-Mart employees is schedule to begin early next month, running up to the post-Christmas launch.

Wal-Mart is the world's largest public corporation and private employer, operating over 3500 Discount and Supercenter locations in the United States, in addition to more than 500 Sam's Club warehouse clubs. The retailer is also one of Apple's highest volume iPod resellers worldwide.

In his email Wednesday, Townsend also suggested the possibility that Sam's Club's larger rival, Costco, may also be in line to carry the iPhone post-holidays, though no further details were provided.

Rumors that Wal-Mart was next in line for the Apple handset began swirling last month, though they originally suggested that the discount chain would begin selling the device on November 15th.
post #2 of 27
I'm not big on Wal-Mart or Costco, but this is a good business move.
post #3 of 27
From 72 hour cue lines vs Wal-Mart 6 months later- I've never seen such a quick drop in trendiness before in my life.
post #4 of 27
Quote:
I'm not big on Wal-Mart or Costco, but this is a good business move.

No. A good business move would be to make this happen before xmas. Many people are cutting back this year and having your product in a store where they are going to go in an attempt to save $$$ would be good.

Dont get me wrong, I like that they are selling them there, just wish it was sooner.
post #5 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by markb View Post

No. A good business move would be to make this happen before xmas.

I agree.
post #6 of 27
Gosh, markb and CREB, I wonder if Apple thought of that? Hmmm. iPhone in Wal-Mart BEFORE Christmas, not AFTER. Hmmm. What a revolutionary concept! Looks like someone in Cupertino wasn't looking at his or her calendar, huh? Yep, someone's MBA needs further examination. Think I'll go apply for THAT job . . . or maybe you guys should! Clearly, we're ALL more qualified than those boobs in California.
post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by markb View Post

No. A good business move would be to make this happen before xmas. Many people are cutting back this year and having your product in a store where they are going to go in an attempt to save $$$ would be good.

Dont get me wrong, I like that they are selling them there, just wish it was sooner.

Your right the sooner the better, but most won't be shopping for iPhones this Xmas i think, cause you can't leave the store without the phone activated, but what a lot of people would be doing is returning shit to get iphones after Xmas and that's what they're aiming at i think
post #8 of 27
Well, that is an extra 1MM units needed to stuff the channel. Good for Apple, as long as they get paid.
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by VinitaBoy View Post

Gosh, markb and CREB, I wonder if Apple thought of that? Hmmm. iPhone in Wal-Mart BEFORE Christmas, not AFTER. Hmmm. What a revolutionary concept! Looks like someone in Cupertino wasn't looking at his or her calendar, huh? Yep, someone's MBA needs further examination. Think I'll go apply for THAT job . . . or maybe you guys should! Clearly, we're ALL more qualified than those boobs in California.

Sometimes I wonder. Apple clearly has done pretty well, I hope they don't make blunders due to cockiness.

In this case though, it may be just a supply issue.
post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by VinitaBoy View Post

Gosh, markb and CREB, I wonder if Apple thought of that? Hmmm. iPhone in Wal-Mart BEFORE Christmas, not AFTER. Hmmm. What a revolutionary concept! Looks like someone in Cupertino wasn't looking at his or her calendar, huh? Yep, someone's MBA needs further examination. Think I'll go apply for THAT job . . . or maybe you guys should! Clearly, we're ALL more qualified than those boobs in California.

Do you think their arrangement with Best Buy could have anything to do with it?
Do you know for certain that a sufficient supply of iPhones to stock WalMart will
be available in the pre-Christmas time frame?
post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

Do you think their arrangement with Best Buy could have anything to do with it?
Do you know for certain that a sufficient supply of iPhones to stock WalMart will
be available in the pre-Christmas time frame?

Neither matters in this decision to sell potential gifts the day after Christmas- especially in this economy. Only people trafficking in the stores then will be those exchanging gifts for ca$h.
It also looks like potential bad PR- "Wal-Mart/Sam's Club to sell iPhones after Christmas"- it could be perceived as a clearance sale.
post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Neither matters in this decision to sell potential gifts the day after Christmas- especially in this economy. Only people trafficking in the stores then will be those exchanging gifts for ca$h.
It also looks like potential bad PR- "Wal-Mart/Sam's Club to sell iPhones after Christmas"- it could be perceived as a clearance sale.

Come to think of it, it very well might be the first phase in a clearance sale of sorts. If Apple starts selling the iPhone in Wal-Mart in January, that will give them a few months to get rid of stock before the inevitable launch of the iPhone 3.0 in the summer.
post #13 of 27
So, umm, why not BEFORE Christmas? I mean, come on, you're passing up a HUGE cash cow! With people looking for good deals they are shying away from high priced boutiques like Best Buy and Christmas shopping at places like Wal-Mart, Costco, and Sams. now now now!! Let's get thsoe iPhones out the door!
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by fraklinc View Post

Your right the sooner the better, but most won't be shopping for iPhones this Xmas i think, cause you can't leave the store without the phone activated, but what a lot of people would be doing is returning shit to get iphones after Xmas and that's what they're aiming at i think

They very well might be buying iPhones if they are sold at Walmart (ya know, the perceived best place to get a good deal) people will think, hmm, this must be a good deal (no, I'm not even remotely kidding about how the masses view things at Walmart). Also, the US isn't quite as big about Boxing Day as maybe some other countries... (At least as far as I've seen)
post #15 of 27
Thousands of complaints that Apple is taking on too much with the iPhone 3G roll out worldwide, the new firmware, MobileMe, IM syncing, etc. and when they put the iPhone into Best Buy before Christmas and not WalMart, we get people second-guessing Apple with no facts whatsoever.

We complain about Apple doing too much, and now complain about Apple not doing enough.

75 countries worldwide by the end of the year? Perhaps there IS a supply issue that would be a bigger upset to Apple if they went into WalMart before Christmas and you went in there and... well, no stock until AFTER Christmas.

Apple is growing its supply change, but for googness sake, let them do it the way they see fit.

We don't have ANY concrete facts to show why Apple hasn't put the phone into WalMart before Christmas including the possible supply issue, an issue whether At&T can handle both Best Buy and WalMart activations at this time, etc. etc. etc.

As someone said above, Apple overall does do a pretty decent job of marketing. Let's leave it to them.
post #16 of 27
Now Steve Jobs will be able to say "We sold a billion iphones in 23 days......and that was after Christmas." Then the stock will crater like it always does on good news.
post #17 of 27
Can't really buy one as a gift without activating it in the store for the owner, which the owner would have to be there to set up the account.
post #18 of 27
The iPhones will get to compete with the Walmart $228.54 Zune's which will get marked down to $144.27 on the 28th due to poor Pre-christmas sales.

Maybe MS didn't want the pre-christmas iPhone. Just a guess. ("It's all in the numbers" a Robert S. McNamara quote).
post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by VinitaBoy View Post

Gosh, markb and CREB, I wonder if Apple thought of that? Hmmm. iPhone in Wal-Mart BEFORE Christmas, not AFTER. Hmmm. What a revolutionary concept! Looks like someone in Cupertino wasn't looking at his or her calendar, huh? Yep, someone's MBA needs further examination. Think I'll go apply for THAT job . . . or maybe you guys should! Clearly, we're ALL more qualified than those boobs in California.

The timing might have to do with getting people to go into an Apple, hence, potentially more Apple store sales, versus letting them go into Costco or Wal-Mart during the holiday shopping season. Apple has always sold an "experience," something you do not get in an AT&T store and you sure as hell do not get in a Costco or Wal-Mart store.¯
post #20 of 27
Not sure how I like this as a stockholder. I see this as a let down in 1) who is going to drop $200 to $300 (or a bit less) on a iPhone when the news is that Wal-Mart is selling the necessity items to those that are in the sinking boat of financial trouble? 2) Look at the folks that visit Wal-Mart ( no offense intended here and no I do not shop Wal-Mart) and those that visit an Apple store. I see a different cliental. My point is, is Apple just trying to reach all that it can and forgo the prestige and sit along side the $500 Dell computers and dusty Zune players just to get the masses to buy an iPhone? Sounds like a bunch of bandwagon folks are fixing to jump on the Apple bandwagon and make Apple look like it's selling second hand products. Also, and I believe some else mentioned this, but as soon as this happen the stock will tank on the notion that a product like the iPhone is now available at your local Wal-Mart. This kinda makes me sick knowing they are sleeping with Wal-Mart. Best Buy I can understand. I mean at least they know what a iPhone looks like...

Dang it!
Mr. Scott
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Mr. Scott
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post #21 of 27
Wouldn't it make more sense to start selling them before the holiday season?
post #22 of 27
The one thing Apple nor anyone else has addressed is WHAT iPhone?!

The iPhone is due for an upgrade in member size to 32 MB or more. They need to start selling off their inventory before MacWorld so they can get rid of the first wave of the second generation of instruments! NOW it makes sense, no?! This is called tiered/timed marketing and it works nicely when you take time. Apple now has time which it didn't do with the first generation iPhones. In fact, many of the first gen people have not upgraded and are waiting to see what new software AND new featured the second wave of the second gen has. Will Apple surprise with a third gen at MacWorld? Don't be so sure they won't.

To sell at Wal-Mart or Costco or any other discounter you have to have something to mark down and dump out.

Something new is coming. Watch for it!http://forums.appleinsider.com/images/icons/icon10.gif
post #23 of 27
I would really like to get two iPhones but have no use for the required data plans, 60 dollars extra. Does anyone have any clue when Apple might allow this?
post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Scott View Post

Not sure how I like this as a stockholder. I see this as a let down in 1) who is going to drop $200 to $300 (or a bit less) on a iPhone when the news is that Wal-Mart is selling the necessity items to those that are in the sinking boat of financial trouble? 2) Look at the folks that visit Wal-Mart ( no offense intended here and no I do not shop Wal-Mart) and those that visit an Apple store. I see a different cliental. My point is, is Apple just trying to reach all that it can and forgo the prestige and sit along side the $500 Dell computers and dusty Zune players just to get the masses to buy an iPhone? Sounds like a bunch of bandwagon folks are fixing to jump on the Apple bandwagon and make Apple look like it's selling second hand products. Also, and I believe some else mentioned this, but as soon as this happen the stock will tank on the notion that a product like the iPhone is now available at your local Wal-Mart. This kinda makes me sick knowing they are sleeping with Wal-Mart. Best Buy I can understand. I mean at least they know what a iPhone looks like...

Dang it!

That's the elitist attitude that gave us a bad rep to begin with. It's about market share. It's about survival. It's about reaching out to those walmart 'types' who don't know squat about Apple. As a shareholder, I think this is awesome. It's about product and product availability, not about status anymore, it's about just selling a great product to whomever wants to buy it.
All Your PCs Are Belong To Trash
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All Your PCs Are Belong To Trash
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post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by KidRed View Post

That's the elitist attitude that gave us a bad rep to begin with. It's about market share. It's about survival. It's about reaching out to those walmart 'types' who don't know squat about Apple. As a shareholder, I think this is awesome. It's about product and product availability, not about status anymore, it's about just selling a great product to whomever wants to buy it.

Still it looks like a soft sell out. And what's attitude do you speak of? Not sharing the "apple knowledge" with everyone else that wants to be a player? Lead, follow or move over buster! Look I'm all for market share, but survival is not a issue with apple right now and you are right that "some" of the folks that shop at Wal-Mart don't know diddly about apple and I expect that too continue even if apple puts this kind of technology in Wal-Mart. It like selling a new BMW at a Kia dealer. Just doesn't make sense in thinking that someone goes to a Kia dealership and thinks they can walk out with a $30,000.00 BMW. Profit to margin is what I look at and if there is many a iPhones on the shelves at Wal-Mart NOT selling what does that do to the supply and demand and to the stock? I don't want to even think about it. I do think it is about status. Like I said, Wal-Mart is good for folks (anyone for that matter) in selling the necessities in our troubled times right now but for them to place this impressive piece of technology in this joint, just makes me feel a little less important to apple. Just my take... Thanks for the feedback. Keeps the mind sharp!
Mr. Scott
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Mr. Scott
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post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by CREB View Post

I agree.

the original announcements were mid Nov. so the issue might be the internal support needed to make it happen. cause you can bet your butt that ATT ain't gotta let them sell without activation and a contract and that could mean updating computer systems etc.
post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by hledgard View Post

I would really like to get two iPhones but have no use for the required data plans, 60 dollars extra. Does anyone have any clue when Apple might allow this?

sure. when the contract with ATT is fulfilled.

when will that be. who the heck knows. it's probably a time v money issue. as in X years or when ATT has gotten back their initial investment plus predecided profit. and those numbers would be kept under tight wraps.
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