Best Buy Prepping for 3 New iPhone SKU's Code-Named "Charlie"?

PhoneArena (via Engagdget) was sent a tip that Best Buy has 3 mysterious new product SKU's listed in their system as "PROJECT CHARLIE". Why is this important and what does it have to do with iPhones?

ZOMG! We're 3 weeks before WWDC here people! Everything is iPhone!

Okay, in all fairness, Best Buy is one of the very few big iPhone retailers (aside from Apple, AT&T, and Walmart) and even if they have no direct info from Apple, they could be prepping themselves for a similar launch as last year (iPhone 3G in 8GB, 16GB Black, and 16GB white).

But for the Lost fans among us -- 3 SKUs, for the 3rd gen iPhone, 3 weeks before WWDC and iPhone OS 3.0? Cue creepy music

UPDATE: Our friend Phil over at WMExperts, throws in a plot twist: what if they're new Windows Phones?!

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, ZEN and TECH, MacBreak Weekly. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter,, Google+.

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There are 22 comments. Add yours.

Steve N. says:

If this were a new iPhone, it'd be the 3rd rev. Charlie is the 3rd letter of the military alphabet (Alpha, Bravo, Charlie).. Coincidence? Red Herring?

iMuggle says:

I wouldn't jump to that conclusion so quickly. Not everything always has to do with the iPhone. It could be, it could just be some stupid project AT&T and Best Buy have organized.

sting7k says:

So now I'm wondering if Best Buy and Walmart will be part of the next iPhone launch. More locations to buy it would be sweet on launch day.

Al says:

Those just say AT&T mobility. How do we know that is the iPhone skus?

zeagus says:

"Not everything always has to do with the iPhone."
Pffft... ;)

Tommy R. says:

yeah 3 SKU's: 8GB, 16GB & 32GB...I don't see why this is making such a big deal.

Eric says:

I work at a Best Buy Mobile and those items have been in inventory for the enitre week. There is a seperate section under our ATT phones in our inventory system for Iphone hardware i would bet it isnt new iphones

Alli says:

What if it's for the Palm EOS - there's another twist.

PSM says:

I'm with Steve, my first thought was that Charlie stands for the 3rd iPhone, and they are numbered C1, C2 and C3. Anybody know if this is in keeping with code numbers for the earlier two versions?
P.S. I hope this isn't true, but the name makes sense on the surface.

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Earless puppyh says:

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josh says:

first off, i'm the owner (notice i didn't say 'proud' owner) of a BB Curve w/ Verizon. my contract runs out august 1st. perfect timing, i know right? i plan on purchasing my first iPhone this summer.
it does seem extremely coincidental that there are 3 new units appearing from AT&T 3 weeks before WWDC. but i have to remain objective here too. AT&T does offer many other phone/device models too. yes, it hurt me to admit it as well.
but on the other hand, if it's not the new iPhone, i ask you this: where is the buzz from ANY of the other manufacturers?? there isn't any. so who else but Apple could these units be coming from?
as much as i want a new iPhone to come out this summer, i don't want my dreams crushed if it doesn't come true. so for me, i'm assuming the worst and saying no new iPhone will come out. after releasing the new 3.0 software, i can't decide. is Apple going to ride this year out and watch the 3G model continue to outsell every other device out there? or will Apple pull a rabbit out of it's hat and have Jobs appear @ WWDC and reveal the new uber-model iPhone from his skinny jeans pocket? i just don't know anymore. head just exploded

brian1269 says:

"Steve N. Says:
May 15th, 2009 at 11:35 am
If this were a new iPhone, it’d be the 3rd rev. Charlie is the 3rd letter of the military alphabet (Alpha, Bravo, Charlie)..."
Steve N is a smart guy to deduce that. You all have to remember how Apple has marketed the iPhone all along, it tries to build hype with secrecy. It has worked so far. And for a major rollout, the retail outlets have to know in advance about the products, and by request from Apple, are using codewords. I would imagine that if someone working for Wallie World wants to confirm the same kind of internal product codes, they would match up more or less.

BBYM#IM says:

I work at best buy mobile last week Saturday we had a meeting in the morning about planing the year, our 2 big deals were Palm Pre AND the new IPHONE! Yes we are planning on getting the iPhone same time with AT&T and Apple. Couple weeks ago there was a big meeting at DC I belive it was talked at there...

Charlie says:

Steve other hidden daughters name is Charlie!

BBYM#IM says:

I went to work today and did a price check on all 3 projects it comes up as $999.99....

Musse T says:

I work at best buy whenever we check our system (RSS) iPhone's are labeled as Apple products, being that the supplier is Apple not At&T, At&T is the distributor.

Jane Johnson says:

Has anyone else feel like the global downturn has hurt the board industry?

Skinny Jeans says:

Wow, interesting read. I just now stumbled on your blog and am already a fan.

samire says:

I like the words:we are not perfect,but we want to be .

bobo says:

Only try your best to do everything you feel perfect