What's Next iPhones in Vending Machines?
With iPods now available for purchase from vending machines, is it really all that surprising that big box retailer Wal-Mart (WMT) will soon be peddling the hallowed iPhone?
Confirming earlier reports, the Mercury News says the world’s largest retailer will begin carrying two versions of Apple’s (AAPL) iconic handset later this month. “It’s going to be very soon,” a Wal-Mart store manager told The Merc. “Originally they were going to release it before Christmas, but they can’t get them that fast to us.” Presumably, the retailer will sell the same 8- and 16-gigabyte phones available at Apple and AT&T (T) stores at similar price points–$199 and $299, though there’s been speculation that it may sell a $99 4-gigabyte model, as well. At this point, that seems unlikely, though an iPhone at a price point like that would certainly help drive broader adoption. “The upscale market has already been addressed,” IDC analyst Shiv Bakhsh told the Merc. “Especially in a market that’s headed for a recession, you want to go to the places where people are still shopping, where they’re looking for deals.”