-- Wal-Mart will begin selling the iPhone 3G this December, a report published online Wednesday claims.
The story, published at tech blog The Boy Genius Report and attributed to a leaked internal memo, says select Wal-Mart stores will start carrying the iPhone 3G right after the holiday rush, on December 28. About 2,500 Wal-Mart locations will offer the device, according to the site, as will 69 Sam's Club locations.
The following is the supposed "internal Wal-Mart correspondence" said to be the source of the information:
We are pleased to announce that Wal-Mart has reached agreement with Apple to offer iPhone 3G in Wal-Mart and Wal-Mart-managed Sam's Club* Connection Centers nationwide beginning December 28, 2008. AT&T will support Wal-Mart and Sam's Club with the activation process for iPhone 3G, and we need all National Retail employees engaged to ensure a successful launch.
*NOTE: This product launch DOES NOT apply to SC Kiosks within Sam's Club managed by Radio Shack.
Wal-Mart has communicated the following launch plans and execution timeline to their employees:
* iPhone 3G will be available in-store only beginning 12/28/08
* New and existing customers in good standing can purchase iPhone 3G with a 2 year contract
* iPhone 3G transactions only will be processed through POS.com, not the kiosk
12/2 - 12/5: AT&T / Wal-Mart MEM Classroom Training for Store Leads
12/3 - 12/19: AT&T In-Store Training
12/26 - 12/27: AT&T In-Store Refresher Training
12/28: Nationwide Launch
12/28 - 12/30: Wal-Mart and AT&T War Room Support
No mention of pricing or any potential drop in cost is mentioned in the alleged leak.
Wal-Mart would neither directly confirm nor deny the report. A spokesperson would only say that "Wal-Mart has not made an official announcement about offering the iPhone."
Wal-Mart did begin selling the T-Mobile G1 Android phone at the end of October in a similar "select stores" sort of arrangement. It offered the G1 for $148.88 -- about 17 percent less than the T-Mobile pricetag.