Last year about this same time, rumor had it that Apple was preparing to allow their “revolutionary” iPhone to be sold in Best Buy stores. One site, AppleInsider said on August 3rd, 2007,“By October — and more likely by September — all Best Buy locations should have iPhones on hand to sell to customers. Lavish video displays, like those erected in Apple retail store windows ahead of the phone’s launch, may also turn up at the electronics stores.” Interestingly enough, Best Buy never did get the opportunity to sell the original iPhones in their stores last year but they just might get the opportunity to sell iPhone 3G’s this year.
The Associated Press broke the news early this morning saying that starting on September 7th, Best Buy will become the first U.S. retailer outside of Apple and AT&T stores to be able to sell the iPhone 3G. To be able to get Steve Jobs’ blessing, Best Buy said they had quite a bit of work to do including upgrading their cell-phone departments, upgrading their computer systems to handle activations, and training their employees. Over 250,000 hours were spent preparing employees who would handle activations.
This could be pretty big for Best Buy considering how well the iPhone 3G has already gone over since it launched. It gives Best Buy an opportunity to gain a few customers and work their skills selling accessories to make an extra buck. If only they would have been able to sell the iPhone 3G at launch – it may have helped reduce some of the irritating lines found at Apple and AT&T locations. Oh, and lets not forget those extended warranties. Best Buy will be sure to try and push the extended warranties because that is one sure way for them to make extra money.
Customers could potentially benefit from Best Buy selling the iPhone 3G as well. One commenter over at TUAW pointed out how Best Buy is good for throwing in the freebies to try and sell products better. If they were able to sell the iPhone along with a free case and an iTunes gift card, those who planned on buying the iPhone 3G anyways would flock there, and those who considered it but weren’t quite sure, would certainly be tempted to buy.
Thanks for the tip Omar!