Will It Be An iPhone Xmas At Wally World?

Bloomberg.com is reporting the rumors of iPhones being sold through Wal-Mart are even closer to fruition.  Contacts in five California stores maintain that the super-discount chain will offer the handset by the end of December, and employees are already being trained on how to sell them.

This comes on the heels of Steve Jobs' announcement in September that the Best Buy big-box electronics chain would offer iPhones, up to that point the exclusive domain of Apple and AT&T wireless phone stores.

Not surprisingly, no one from Apple, AT&T, or Wal-Mart would officially confirm or deny the reports.

The big question, in fact, is: which iPhone model will Wally World offer, and how much?  One analyst suggests the now-discontinued 4 GB unit would be a perfect fit:

“A $99, Apple-branded cell phone is inevitable,” said
Shaw Wu, an analyst for Kaufman Brothers in San Francisco. “One
of the key things Apple needs to do to drive broader iPhone
adoption is to build a more complete product line” with low-
end, mid-range and high-end products, Wu said in a Dec. 5 note.

But some advertising materials obtained by MacRumours suggest otherwise…

This image described by AT&T, iPhone, Apple, Wal-Mart, Walmart_iphone_price

That's for an 8 GB phone, and the discount is consistent with other Apple products like the iPod Nano 8 GB for US$147.88.  Plus, with the flood of apps available (ten thousand and counting, if you recall!), offering a memory-limited handset doesn't really make sense anymore.

But the odds of iPhone availability through Wal-Mart seems a certainty, as does a timeframe of somewhere between just before Christmas and just before New Year's Eve.

[Additional info via Ars Technica]

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