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Reports face off over validity of $99 Wal-Mart iPhone rumor

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
There are conflicting reports Monday over whether there is any truth to a rumor that Wal-Mart later this month will begin offering a 4GB iPhone to its customers for a new low price of $99.\t

BGR cited unfamiliar sources last week as saying there was a possibility that Apple and AT&T would supply the discount chain with a special run 4GB iPhone that it could sell alongside two year contracts for $99 -- half the price of today's 8GB model sold under the same carrier agreement.

The rumor ties into a more certain arrangement by which Wal-Mart has largely been confirmed to begin selling iPhones on December 28th, a move that will reportedly extend to 2,500 of its locations locations and 69 Sam’s Club outlets that use the discount chain's ordering system.

Over the weekend, the San Jose Mercury looked into the matter and was told by one Wal-Mart store manager that Apple had hoped to supply the discount stores with iPhones before Christmas but that they "can't get them that fast to us."

When asked about the prospect of a 4GB version that would sell for $99, most Wal-Mart employees said they either had not heard of such a model or that Wal-Mart would not be carrying that particular model.

However, one cell phone department manager at the Milpitas Wal-Mart informed the Mercury News that she was told by an AT&T representative that her store would be getting a 4 GB model. The manager also said her store was expecting to get some iPhones two days before Christmas.

"They're trying to push it before Christmas because they know how people will want it for Christmas," she said.

Separately, however, MacRumors is reporting that feedback from Wal-Mart staffers currently training to sell the devices leads it to believe the $99 iPhone rumor is "unlikely." Specifically, the report notes that those employees have received documentation on a single 8GB model that will sell for $197, but nothing to suggest a 4GB model will be available.

In yet another report published Monday, Bloomberg reported that Wal-Mart will be selling not one but two models of the iPhone, but did not specify whether the second model would be the high-end 16GB model or the rumored low-end 4GB model.
post #2 of 15
Honestly, when you're forced to pay no less than $80 a month for service, I don't think the one-time price of the phone is the greatest obstacle for consumers who don't want to or can't afford to pay a lot for phone anyhow.
post #3 of 15
Never going to happen. Walmart will get the same phone/prices everyone else does.

Also, never going to see a 4GB iPhone, why would apple go backwards? The only $99 iPhone will be the 8GB in late January after the 32GB is released.
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post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by dizzy13 View Post

Also, never going to see a 4GB iPhone, why would apple go backwards?

Some people think that cutting the Flash capacity in half equates to cutting the cost of the device in half.

Quote:
The only $99 iPhone will be the 8GB in late January after the 32GB is released.

A 32GB in January for the price of the current 16Gb model seems unlikely. The current rate of NAND doubling at the current price point is about 18-24 months. So doing every 6-12 months just can't happen. I hope I'm wrong!
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post #5 of 15
I could see a "fire sale" on the 8GB model if a 32GB model comes out. Wal-Mart would just be getting the stuff in the supply chain.

I think a lot of people would buy a $99 iPhone. They are already used to $50-100 cell phone bills, $100-200 cable TV bills (with or without internet) and Tivo bills, XM bills, etc. What's another $80? If you drop your current provider at $50-60 a month, the iPhone is only $20 more.
post #6 of 15
I just hope Apple can be compelled to offer an unlocked 3G iPhone in the US, and that AT&T can be compelled to break out hardware subsidy costs and service costs in their plans.

I can dream...
post #7 of 15
I wish they would give me a real reason to get rid of my 4gb iPhone. 3g isnt in my area, and GPS is worthless to me. I would buy a new phone but no way in hell am I going to pay more per month to get less.
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post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

A 32GB in January for the price of the current 16Gb model seems unlikely. The current rate of NAND doubling at the current price point is about 18-24 months. So doing every 6-12 months just can't happen. I hope I'm wrong!

Mr. Google says you are wrong:

http://www.engadget.com/2008/11/24/i...d-flash-chips/

Early 2009 -> 64GB on a single chip - even if "early 2009" means June, that is still less than 18 months after the Feb 2008 release of the 16 GB iPhone to the potential release of the 64 GB iPhone.
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post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by nascarnate326 View Post

I wish they would give me a real reason to get rid of my 4gb iPhone. 3g isnt in my area, and GPS is worthless to me. I would buy a new phone but no way in hell am I going to pay more per month to get less.

Look for a used 1st gen iPhone with 16 GB. They shouldn't be able to charge you the higher fee for 3G service when the phone doesn't support it.
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

Mr. Google says you are wrong:

http://www.engadget.com/2008/11/24/i...d-flash-chips/

Early 2009 -> 64GB on a single chip - even if "early 2009" means June, that is still less than 18 months after the Feb 2008 release of the 16 GB iPhone to the potential release of the 64 GB iPhone.

I guess you don't realize that 16GB chips were available well before the iPhone got it. The iPod Touch had it in September 2007, and the chips were available even before then. But simply being available isn't what I stated. I stated the ability to double the capacity AT THE SAME PRICE POINT, which is what was assumed will happen come early next year. That link you posted doesn't have anything near an actual date or a price point listed.
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post #11 of 15
My prediction
$149 8GB (Wal Mart)
$199 16GB
$299 32GB

Apple likes to generally increase specs and keep prices the same. This would be a way of tweaking the price down a bit.
post #12 of 15
The rumors of a cheap iPhone were started by Troy Wolverton, at the San Jose Mercury Misviews, who has in the past tried to freeze Apple sales with rumors of pending price cuts. I mean, who'd buy something now, knowing that the price is going to be halved in the near future, right? Well, that's Wolverton's game, and he's part of Jim Cramer's gang of misinformationists. These guys should be investigated by the SEC.

iPods only sell a few bucks cheaper at Walmart, Sams Club, BJs, Costco, Target and the like. The rumor of a cheaper iPhone is just that, a stupid rumor.
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by KenC View Post

The rumor of a cheaper iPhone is just that, a stupid rumor.

I agree. There will NOT be a $99 iPhone at Wal-Mart. There will NOT be a 4GB version. At best, it will be a buck or two off.
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post

I agree. There will NOT be a $99 iPhone at Wal-Mart. There will NOT be a 4GB version. At best, it will be a buck or two off.

Take a look at this one...

http://atlanta.bizjournals.com/atlan....html?ana=e_du

I guess if you are getting the training...
OMG here we go again...
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post #15 of 15
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