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Wal-Mart to start selling iPhone. Maybe.

December 8, 2008 | 10:16 am

Wal-Mart may start selling iPhones The secret is out. Well, kind of. A Wal-Mart employee in Uniondale, N.Y., told the Associated Press today that the store will indeed soon begin selling Apple's iPhone. Now various sources are reporting that Wal-Mart is "confirmed" to be selling the iPhone, making it the second retail chain after Best Buy to sell the phones.

Wal-Mart spoils the fun by saying it has "made no official announcement regarding the iPhone at Wal-Mart," which is still vague enough to keep us all wondering.

The big question, of course, is whether the iPhone will indeed cost $99 at Wal-Mart, as was reported by some sources last week. Most consumers would be pretty happy about a $99 iPhone, especially with the economy looking pretty bleak. But would it be a good idea for Apple?

Well, yeah, industry insiders say. Now that people don't have quite as much money to spend, they're going to be extra careful not to blow all their money on a smart phone if they don't need one. And then there are all of those iPhone killers, including the Blackberry Storm, that run on networks that aren't AT&T, tempting smart-phone buyers. The $99 iPhone could be Apple's way to fight back.

Don't plan to make a $99 iPhone your gift for Mom and Dad and Fluffy the Cat though. If they are indeed appearing at Wal-Mart, they probably won't go on sale 'til a few days after Christmas.

-- Alana Semuels

Photo by William Hook via Flickr