No, Steve Won't Be Attending the Best Buy Launch. Your Logo Hurts His Eyes.
Come next month there will be another retail outlet at which to wait in line for an iPhone. On Sept. 7, Best Buy will become the first U.S. retail chain to sell the iPhone outside of the Apple-AT&T duopoly.
The deal is an obvious coup for the big-box retailer, which, with the exception of Apple (AAPL) and AT&T (T), has a national exclusive on the device through Christmas. Just a few weeks back, Stifel Nicolaus analyst David Schick suggested that availability of the iPhone only at Apple and AT&T Wireless stores could “hurt demand or at least foot traffic to Best Buy and Circuit City.” Now that appears to be the fate of Circuit City (CC) alone.
“It solidifies us as the place to go for the cool stuff,” Best Buy Mobile President Shawn Score told Reuters. “Our customers are looking for this product. We do believe that broadening our assortment and having iPhone in our stores is certainly going to be very important [heading into the holiday season].”
Important for Apple as well, assuming the company works through its iPhone shortage problems. Offering the device for sale in Best Buy’s (BBY) 970 stores will certainly make it quite a bit easier for Apple to reach its oft-stated goal of selling 10 million iPhones in 2008. Not that it really needs any help in that department. According to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster Apple is on track to sell 4.47 million iPhones in this quarter alone.