Forget Radio Shack - iPhone 3G to be Sold at Walmart???

No offense to any Wal Mart shoppers out there, but please Apple, say this is not so. The Radio Shack scare was bad enough, now you are threatening to bring the iPhone 3G to Walmart?

iPhone lovers really dodged a bullet when the Radio Shack deal fell apart but now Boy Genius is reporting that you will start seeing the Apple product in all Walmart stores as early as next month.

"Walmart will begin selling the iPhone 3G next month - on November 15th to be exact".

Keep in mind that this is just in time for the holiday shopping season. I'm not even sure Walmart sells any cell phones, but the last place I'd go to buy my Palm Treo Pro, iPhone 3G, or Touch HD -- wishful thinking I know -- is Wal Mart! Also keep in mind you can not walk out of a store without activating the iPhone 3G. How comfortable would you be letting a Walmart employee handle your prized possession?

Sound off in the comments...

[Via Boy Genius Report]

Jeremy

Community editor. Tech enthusiast. All-around geek.

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Forget Radio Shack - iPhone 3G to be Sold at Walmart???

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No way in hell would I ever buy an iPhone from Wal Mart. Can the people that even go there afford an iPhone and its data plan? (I know not everyone that shops at wal mart is poor, but wal mart is designed from low income families/individuals.

WTF? Yes, WalMart does sell cell phones, but iPhones? No way, dude. I don't think Apple would ever do this. I won't believe it til I physically see it myself. Apple to too "elitist" for this.

seriously why the fuck does it matter that wal-mart is selling the iphone. i dont understand why when one of the smartest and most profitable companies in the world(more so than apple) decides to start selling the iphone and everyone freaks the fuck out. honestly i think this would be nothing but good for apple and the iphone. i dont see a single reason why this would cause iphone sales to do nothing but increase.

@bryan, will the world end when they start selling iPhones? No, but would I ever go there or tell anyone else to go to Wal Mart to purchase such a device? Not a chance. I'm going to send them somewhere where the employees will know just a bit about the actual device itself. Now you may be a Wal Mart shopper and that is perfectly fine. Just not my cup of tea for top of the line cellular devices.

I agree with bryan.. It can only increase sales.
Not to mention, why do you give a crap who's selling the damn things? Or are you one of those people who think Wal-Mart is evil because of its success? If spending more money for the exact same product makes you feel important, go for it. Who am I to stand in your way?

@lulz, you think the iPhone will cost less selling at Wal Mart? You are in for a rude awakening. Also where do you think you are going to get better customer support? Wal Mart or a Apple Store?

As far as increasing sales, did I say it wouldn't? Never said that, I just would not go to Wal Mart for a device like this nor would I tell anyone to. That's my point, it's not about sales to me.

While Wal-Mart has strict pricing requirements for distributers and generally want them to be as low as possible. However most Cellular companies are kiosks inside of a walmart, much like other tenants such as restaurants and banks in walmarts. They aren't required to drive down prices..but pay rent for their space.

We don't have an Apple Store in my town -- in fact, the closest one is about 100 miles away.
We do have an AT&T store, but I can't stand the complete lack of customer service I receive there. I've been shopping for the Iphone and if I can pick it up during one of my family's weekly trips to Wal-Mart, I'll probably pony up to do it.
As for AVT, I don't think all Walmart shoppers are poor. I think you might find that a lot are looking for ways to stretch the dollar through this downturn. A box of Cheerios is a box of Cheerios nomatter where I buy it -- so why pay more somewhere else?
For that matter, an Iphone is an Iphone...

while it's possible that people would be concerned about type of customer service people would recieve @ walmart, it's just as likely that many current iPhone owners would rather not have their "exclusive" phones available @ a store they feel is just too "common" (ie. Walmart is for cheerios, not MY iPhone)

Holy crap, what a bunch of elitest snobs. Who gives a rip where you buy it, you honestly need the customer service and to have your questions answered, like where Best Buy or Circuit City?? God. I'd probably make Walmart my first stop anyway cause they have a decent return policy. I about killed the poor geek squad guy who wanted to 1/2 hour bench test my shit wifi radio in the ipod touch 2 days after purchase.

it's about choices. If people are uncomfortable with buying an iPhone, or for that matter an iPod, at Walmart, then they will not. I would by an iPod from walmart but not an iPhone. Why? When you buy a phone, there are usually a lot of questions that you have. I do not think the employees have the expertise to answer those questions. I am far from poor, but I do shop at Walmart, for some of the things that I may need. Like some of you here, I don't see the point in paying more money for an identicle product. The iPhone will more than likely sell fir the same price. Therefor, I would rather buy it at apple or Att for the knowledge and expertise. Even if it was cheaper, I don't think it would be cheap enough to offset the advantege Apple and Att have.

Walmart is the largest company in the world. Of course apple will sell it there.
I wouldn't be surprised if we see Walmart's sales exceed apple stores especially if they were to release a future model at Walmart. There are 3400 Walmart stores in North America. There are 211 Apple stores. Every apple store would have to sell 16 iphones to keep up with every Walmart selling just one.

Walmart sells everything else, why not an iPhone too?...Apples other products are present in Walmart, makes no sense to not include another sales outlet for the iPhone.

haha wtf? why all the haters here.
apple is a bussiness. Iphone+more stores=best selling phone ever. This will kill android, if it wasnt dead already hahaha

Great. Walmart employees are either retarded or dumb. How is activation going to work? Are they going to place Apple reps at each store? Come on.

I wouldn't have a problem buying one from WalMart. If I was like some others here and could not make a purchase without some hand-holding, I'd go somewhere else. No one loses with more choices.
Plus I would imagine Google would be trying to get their phone into as many hands as possible. A "preemptive strike" might not be a bad idea for Apple.

wow so many wal-mart haters,
They happen to be the number one retailer in the world. I would have so bought my iphone at wal-mart then compare to the at&t store that jacked my phone order took 3 weeks to get the thing. Not everyone is poor that shops there. I just like saving money and the economics of this world of ours is in a crap hole. Every penny counts we all know it does not grow from trees. Apple stores will always be around if you need that one on one special treatment.

The same Apple truck delivers the same iPhones to
Walmarts stores and to Apple stores.
Identical.
If you already have an iPhone... why would you care?
If you don't have an iPhone... you can choose to buy
(or avoid) Walmart. So again, who cares?
Will your existing iPhone stop working... based on whether or not Walmarts decides to sell them next year?
Senseless.

Wow, some of you are really touchy about your Wal Mart... ;)
And to Paula, it's not that it will bother me if they sell it next MONTH but rather it is my opinion that Wal Mart would not be the best place to purchase something like a iPhone, especially from a first time buyer. Just my opinion. Wal Mart will not have the best employees to sell this device, no different than if you went into a Radio Shack - have you ever dealt with those people? Your opinion seems to be that you would have the same experience purchasing it at Wal Mart compared to a Apple store. Just your opinion and nothing more.
So go ahead and buy a iPhone at Wal Mart. To me that is senseless... my opinion.

I must say I have lost a lot of respect for this blog based in the tone of this article. Maybe it is time to delete this site from my favorites.

walmart is a great place to buy normal stuff at great prices, and i would rather buy a iphone there than at bestbuy where they pressure you into 25 different upsell items! Would you like us to optimize your iphone? its only 50 dollars. What about an extended warranty? I F%$*ing when people open my devices before me however i would rather have some stupid walmart employee plug it in and type some numbers than a "know it all" bestbuy employee, I hate going to a electronics store and they all flock to you, asking "can i help you" then you ask them a question, and they start looking at the box for answers! I CAN READ THE BOX MY SELF DUMBASS. Ok im done venting. & yes i know there are tons of typos i dont care.

I don't see the problem with walmart. I bought my iPhone at an ATT store, got little "customer support" but then, what did I need? Actually nothing. If walmart is in the game sales will unquestionably increase and that can only lead to more demand for apps, accessories, etc. - that means better support and price competition. Everybody needs to take a deep breath.

I am a wal-mart employee (i am embarrassed about that though) and we do sell a lot of cell phones. i work in electronics (if you can call what they have there worthy electronics) and my good buddy works in the connection center and he's good at it. i could see how people dismiss the wal-mart employee, hell, i never thought I'd be on! but i don't think i'd ever buy an iphone at wal-mart.
and just something to keep in mind: there are a lot of special people that work at wal-mart... but not all of em are that special. let's put it this way, i'm the only one that knows anything about electrons in that whole damn store... ugggg why do i work there!? ;)

You guys are all overreacting. It WAS HIS OPINION THAT WAL MART WOULD NOT BE A GOOD PLACE TO BUY THIS DEVICE DO TO THE EMPLOYEES THAT ARE GOING TO KNOW NEXT TO NOTHING. Hmmm who would I trust to buy an iPhone from? A part time Wal Mart employee, who is just there for a few hours to make a couple bucks, or someone from an Apple store, who is required to know there products, have great CS and TS. I chose the Apple store, have fun buying your iPhones from people who are nowhere near educated about the device.

The tiny cell phone kiosk at the local Costco here has been selling iPhone's since launch day, now alongside the Blackberry Bold, and various WinMo and other smartphones. 1 rep for 3 carriers in 5 square feet. He'll either be a genius, or you'll have to be.
By contrast, I went to Best Buy today with some simple questions about cameras, which I know very little about, and no one in the camera department had any answers. One of the 3 people -- who worked in that department -- said he was just learning about point-and-shoots. They didn't know what they carried, what specs a popular model had, or much of anything.
The big boxes don't pay or train them to.
Somewhere we lost of the soul of retail, of expertise, of service, of knowing and trusting the person on the other side of the counter. We sold that vital relationship for a few pennies of discount, and think we've gotten a bargain for it.
(strangely, Apple Stores buck that trend, and seem to be doing so successfully).

Jeremy is right. Wal Mart is not a place to sell the iPhone. Nor any other high end cell phone. Fact - Wal Mart employees know little to nothing about high end devices.
Another fact - Radio Shack and it's employees are a joke.

More iPhone customers = more iPhone developers = more & better Apps = increasing importance of iPhone mobile platform etc etc ..
Selling iPhones via largest US retailer = improved exposure and more customers trying out a demo model. Nearly everyone gets a sense of 'wow' when they actually touch an iPhone the first time and they're so easy to use that most people can work it all out with minimal or no help. Therefore many more people will get to actually see an iPhone in action and want to buy one ..
I work for Orange - one of the largest cellular operators in the world. We're selling iPhones across Europe, Middle East and Africa. I know the enormous amount of preparation we did together with Apple to be ready to sell and support the iPhone. Of course we did this to achieve maximum profit from the whole exercise.
I expect Walmart and Apple will be interested in achieving maximum sales and profit from such a relationship and will put in a big effort too !

FUCK ALL OF YALL SONS OF SOME BITECHES I WORK FOR RADIOSHACK AND WE SELL WAY MORE PHONES THAN THE FUCKING RETAILER THERE SELF WE WILL SELL MORE THAN APPLE AND ATT AND WALMART COMBINED YOU STUPID ASS WHOLES.............

u guys in good old USA seem to miss the point . it's funny over here in the uk we just get given a box with a phone in it LOL activation well that's our problem I brought mine from the first shop I could find with the stock no advice required when the phone went wrong I headed to an apple store who replaced it straight away.
It doesn't matter where u buy one just know that apples own support is brilliant . Job done

Wally's will probably only sell these through the holiday season, because they are not structured for customer service. I used to work at Sears, (20 years ago) and at Sears, we provided service and [actually] sold merchandise to people. Wally's is more like a flea market than a retail store.
Why is everyone suprised that the employees don't know the difference between their azz and a hole in the ground? They only make 4 cents/hour, and that allows Wally's to sell you stuff a dollar cheaper than everywhere else. Who gives a doody if they are exploited? - they should have finished high school and/or stayed out of jail. There - I said it.
I would think that there will be a kiosk at Wally's, where the employee will be capable of activating an iPhone. It will probably be the smartest employee in the store, that is, the only one with a GED. See how elitist you all have made me? Dang.

Don't forget that they sell things that much cheaper too because they only offer benefits to managers and their employees are mostly, if not all hired on a part time bases.

--Typing this on my blackberry curve I bought at a walmart--
Walmart's connection centers are backed by the carries. The verizon/ATT rep that taught the best buy folks how to run the Iphone is guess what?
The same guy who'll teach the wal-mart folks.
That's right he/she handles the whole market

I would have been happy to buy my iPhone from WalMart instead of AT&T. Walmart has much better customer service than the AT&T stores that I have experienced. I would rate AT&T stores with having some of the worst customer service I have ever seen.

avt and exBBuser I started selling cell phones at Radio Shack when all there was, was the Nokia bag phone and have learned about cell phones, computers,PDA's, sound systems and many other electronic devices with much success. Don't judge all people because you are not smart enough to seek out nor able to find an experienced salesperson. All employees are required to attend training classes to learn products. Unfortunately as in all schools you have those who learn and those who don't. A shopper that wants a product bad enough will shop from the the salesperson who has knowledge, however do your homework and find that person. I'm sure that the WalMart employee will also have this training. Incidently if you have to constantly seek advice from the retailer, then you probably have difficulty or to lazy to read the manuals or seek answers on the product website. I also applaud Radio Shack and WalMart because they don't discriminate because of a persons disabilities. Shame for being predjudiced.

Lol seek out an experienced sales person? I actually don't need to speak to an experienced sales person because I know what I want and how much I should get it for. I don't need people to help me with a product, I do research and know probably more about what I want from an employee at Wal Mart and Radio Shack. It's not about experience, it's about being educated.

To all the wonderful citizens of America:
In order to get our eco-nom-y back on track. I've asked Apple to initiate talks with Wal-mart. I feel that if every Wal-Mart in America will start selling iPhones we can get our economy rolling again.
Heck, I've tried to operate one of those "iphones" but it's just too complicated for me, but I think the rest of America would just love them things. I've even asked Wal-Mart to let the American people use food stamps to purchase them.
I personally guarantee that all the employee's selling iphones in Wal-Mart will be trained professionals. They will know how to ring up your order and hand you a box.
I just love Wal-Mart!
God Bless America!
Mr. Bush
P.S. - You thought I was just going to lay down for the remainder of my term! HA!

I bought my iPhone from Best Buy Mobile, and received better attention from the people there then I ever have received at every corporate store I have ever been to. I will never go back to an AT&T store to make another purchase. The only other place I would even consider buying an apple product besides Best Buy is the Apple Store. In no way would I ever consider going to Wal-Mart to get my iPhone. It is not about my education level of the product. I knew what I wanted before I went to Best Buy, it is the service I got when I bought it. He took the time to explain the plan details, and looked at my current usage to find out if there is something he can do to save me money. He was honest about accessories, and didn't push them on me. He showed me cool things he had on his own personal iPhone, and completed the data transfer for me. Can Wal-Mart treat me this well? Can they save me time by doing data transfers? Can they be just as knowledgeable as me? I knew what I wanted, but they took it to the next level. America is image driven, I think bringing the iPhone to Wal-Mart will hurt that image. They will sell more iPhones because of it, but how will it affect sales in other stores carrying it? If radioshack got turned down, I am positive that Wal-Mart will be. Wal-Mart employees are most time not competent, and are not able to do anything remotely right. I would not want jimmy the bagboy unbricking my iPhone.

Look! It's a good thing if walmart starts to carry the iphone. It will dramatically increase the availability. You have a chance at bad customer service anywhere you go, it just depends on the person you talk to. Everyone in the store might be capable of fulfilling all of your needs or question, but if you get the one person that doesn't know what their taking about it puts a bad impression on the whole place. All it takes to activate the phone is a phone call. Very hard to screw up something so simple. I will personally buy my iphone at walmart because it's more convienent and I don't need someone telling me all the features I already know about. I don't need someone holding my hand on large purchases because I make sure I know everything about the product before I leave the house. Some people need to be showed how to do stuff on the phone, I would personally figure it out on my own. In the end you just buy the phone wherever your confortabl. But on a final note walmart sells more ipods for apple than anyone else and one might say if walmart didn't sell ipods, the ipod wouldn't be were they are today.

CLEARLY U DONT KNOW ANYTHING THEN. WALMART is one of the biggest franchises in the world the founder of it is in the top 100 richest people in the world so yeah, plus walmart is a good place for electronics and such.. just not for clothes to my perspective

This is simple math for Apple:
Wal-Mart : 3900 stores in the USA
Apple : 197 stores in the USA
To get to those who want the instant "walk out of the store" gratification and can't get to an AT&T or Apple store this makes total business sense. Good or bad it's all about the mighty buck.

sum of u people r freakin dumb ass's! Where do u get off that the iPhone is sum gift of god that's so priceless that it can't be touched by someone out of an Apple store? It's a damn phone nuthing more. I do work for Walmart connection and Do have an iPhone and I sure as Hell now what I am doing. Don't degrade people and there choice of place to shop because u Think u are too good. We get taught the same way best buy, apple and AT&T get instructed on merchandise. It's up to the person learning weather or not to apply it. So people get a life!

I have got a lot of phones from wal-mart and they have been the same ones i could of got at the att store just a lot cheeper. The workers are traned the same way as the workers at best buy to set the phone up. I think it is stupid to pay 200 bucks for a phone. I dont care what it does. So why is it so bad if it is 50-100 bucks cheeper at walmart or else where.

Well, it doesn't matter where the iphone is sold. Nobody goes in the box and changes the phone whether it's sold at walmart, or apple. So does it matter where u get it? IT DOES NOT, if u want to know more about the iphone, call the apple or at&t store to get information, then go to walmart..doesn't that make sense? it doesn't matter who knows more, cuz you can buy an iphone from apple, and it might not work, juss because u get it from walmart, has nothin to do wit da fone, and for the employees knowing about the iphone, it doesn't matter, the phone is going to work the same whether they know or not, so it doesn't make sense, why can't u get one from wal-mart? think outside of the box people. CALL THE AT&T STORE IF U WANT INFO, DUH!!, it's the same ol box, same ol company, same ol truck that delivers it, walmart does not open the box and change the feature so it doesn't work at great as the one's at the at&t or apple store

This Sunday, Dec. 28th, our district is launching the iPhone. We have had extensive training over the iPhone. They even gave a test were you had to make a certain percentile for your store to even be able to carry the iPhone. The return policy for the iPhone is the same as our regular AT&T return policy, and if you have questions about your iPhone you can call or go to your connection center for assistance. Apple requires that there is at least one iPhone trained associate in the connection center at all hours the connection center is open. Also, you will be able to purchase the Apple Care plan from Walmart to go with your iPhone up to one year after you purchase your iPhone. You will also be able to find accessories made for your iPhone at Walmart. All Walmart stores are different, depending on management, but our store is dedicated to excellent customer service and will take time to work with you to ensure you get the customer service and satisfaction you expect and deserve. Our connection center will take the time to go over the plan that is right for your needs and help you pick out a phone that is right for you. And I assure you that the associate working with you will be able to unbrick your iPhone. ;)

Thank you Connection center Associate, most of these people in here don't understand how retail and partnerships work. They think that because they stood in line like dumb****s at the first launch of the Iphone, for I might say a complete rip off price, that they are better than everyone else that may want to save money at Wal-mart. Besides an Iphone is an Iphone no matter where u buy it and im sure that if I do have questions or concerns I can take my Iphone to an apple store. My Iphone doesn't say Walmart on it. The funny thing is that the same manufactures that are selling products at other retailers for alot more money are competing to be able to sell the same products to us Poor Folks at a cheaper price( I love Cheerios). By the way I'm an ex Radioshack Store manager and know what kind of training is required at the launch of a new product. Also the average person is not gonna just walk in and say gimme an Iphone. It doesn't really work that way. If I gave my grandfather an Iphone he would probably through it at me. The person buying it most likely knows enough to be able to use its functions and features so, as far as questions or concerns, I'm pretty sure the guy selling it to you has one and can give you enough directions to be able to work it. By the way it also comes with an Owners manual. Walmart sells great products. I can't wait to go in and finally purchase my 3G Iphone. Thanks

Over the years, I have always purchased the "state of the art" phone, in some instances, after it was available at Wal-Mart. No matter where you buy the phone, it is purchased through AT&T which means you have access to support through AT&T. As it is an Apple product, I'll be suprised if they ask, "Where did you buy it?" before offering support if you go to an Apple store. Certainly, you can perform all your research and other due diligence at Apple or AT&T before the purchase to be sure you are getting the right phone/ plan. So, it really, it's a moot point where you buy the phone unless your blood's to blue for Wal-Mart. Besides that, I've always found the Connection Center Reps to very well trained and helpful.

I work at Radio Shack and I must say that Radio Shack employees are trained on new products such as cell phones, computers, electronic parts, televisions, etc... However not every employee is going to know the products inside and out. Unfortunately there are employees that just don't care about the products. I'm sorry some of you got a bad experience at Radio Shack but you must understand that not every store and every employee is like that. You should never judge or stereotype a company just from one or two bad visits (This includes Wal-Mart) That is like saying that every single dog will not attack you. It is ignorant to put down a company and it's employees just from one or two bad experiences. Furthermore saying that Radio Shack and Wal-Mart employees are "Dumb" is also VERY ignorant. Like I said I work for Radio Shack, I'm a part time employee that has a PhD. I'm not there for the money, because I make way more elsewhere, I work there because I love the job and the company. So like I said calling Radio Shack and Wal-Mart employees "Dumb" is VERY ignorant. Next time you are at your Doctor's office tell him/her that they are "Dumb" and see what happens.

Jeremy, you are a complete loser. Why do you even care? What's the point in even talking about it? You sound like such a lame. Same goes for the rest of you a$$hole$ talking about Wal-Mart employees like that. You all deserve a good A$$ beating. Why don't you walk your little nerdy self up to a Wal-Mart employee and call them dumb...see what happens. I guarantee you that their life hasn't been as wonderful as yours and they can gladly make you understand by beating some sense into your thick skulls. Like I said, get a life...

haha guess what ahole the shack is gettin the iphone... ya wallmart sucks i went and asked for one there and they didnt know how to activate it even lol...

That's so funny! Watching people take shots at Walmart, a massive, multinational, gargantuan operation with incalculable profits, untold numbers of employees, suppliers, distributors and (yep) shareholders is a gas. Does anyone really think Walmart, Apple, Texaco, Google, Detroit Pistons, Gosporan, Pugeou, etc., really care what you think other than when you wish to part with your silly itty-bitty little wad of cash? Silly fools. Walmart for the poor, Apple for the elite? Those wealthy folks laugh at you all. Go play with your cell phone.

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My family has 4 iphones. We have bought from AT&T store and Walmart, guess what, the iphone at Walmart works just as good as the one from AT&T, who cares what store it came from. They all were built by Apple. You can buy at iphone at walmart and take it to AT&T stores and get help if u need it. Walmart even replaced one of my iphones that got busted up within the first 30 days, You think AT&T would have done that or Apple, of course not.

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