Big news for all you big box one-stop-shoppers – you can now buy almost everything cool (and lame) at Best Buy.
Best Buy, the blue and yellow behemoth, will start selling the new iPhone 3G at its stores in September. This new deal will bring the iPhone outside the unholy AT&T/Apple alliance for the first time.
The plan is good for a lot of people, especially those not interested in waiting in huge lines at the Apple and AT&T stores to buy and activate their new phones.
Best Buy is starting a new program called ‘Walk Out Working’ where they will allow you to purchase, set up, and activate a new iPhone immediately in-store.
This is also great for Apple because it will allow the iPhone to seep into markets that were once removed from the 200 national Apple store radius. For example, West Virginia doesn’t have an Apple store, but has a few Best Buys, which will now make it possible for potential users to test out and buy the device they’ve heard so much about.
I also think this will make the iPhone go more mainstream, if that’s even possible. It’s already garnered praise from the Apple fanboys long ago and is growing acceptance with hip young adults and savvy businesspeople. But Best Buy offers an outlet to the suburban Mom and Dad demographic that’s never heard of Gizmodo or CNET (your loss, Pops, Natali Del Conte is hott).
As was expected, Best Buy stock rose by almost a full point this morning on news of the announcement, but by the middle of the day has leveled off to previous levels. We will have to wait till September to see if this has the kind of impact on Apple, AT&T (iPhone still needs a two year contract, so more subscribers), and Best Buy’s sales.
Afterall, Apple is going to need as much tender love and care as possible after that insane fire that burned up their headquarters in Cupertino last night. Steve Jobs literally burning the midnight oil, perhaps?
Channel Web: Best Buy and the iPhone 3G: What’s It Mean?, August 13, 2008