$99 iPhone on way to Wal-Mart?

December 4, 2008

It’s fully expected that the iPhone 3G will go on sale at Wal-Mart stores across America by the end of the year, although Apple still hasn’t announced as much. But could Steve Jobs be about to undercut his rivals and beat the recession in one fell swoop by offering a $99 iPhone for sale at the chain store?

The iPhone has gone from being an exclusive bit of kit, only affordable to people with more money than sense, to being a product on sale in Best Buy, and available to all. The cost of owning an iPhone can mount up when the monthly tariffs for having the pleasure are taken into account, but the actual handset itself has become much more affordable than it was when first released.

Back in October, Boy Genius Report exclusively revealed that the iPhone 3G was headed for Wal-Mart, that catch-all store populated by bargain hunters galore. And now, the same site has received a tip that as well as the 8GB and 16GB models of the iPhone going on sale at Wal-Mart, the discontinued 4GB model could be about to make a comeback.

When Apple first introduced the iPhone, it offered 4GB and 8GB models, but the smaller size was dropped after just a couple of months. But the tipster, who BGR doesn’t yet consider reliable enough to confirm the report, suggests it could come back, and be offered at a new recession-busting price of $99.

The idea of a new lower-priced entry level iPhone would certainly fill a void, and bring a whole new demographic of consumers into the realms of being able to afford the Apple device. The only issue then would be those same consumers only able to afford the lower-priced handset being able to afford the $80 – $100 a month tariff for the two years of the contract.

The figures show that Apple could well afford a sub-$100 price point and still manage to make a healthy profit. But this, of course, isn’t yet confirmed, and it could just be wishful thinking on the part of a single tipster. It makes sense for this to happen, but Apple doesn’t always comply with what’s sensible.

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