Best Buy to Sell iPhones by September

August 13th, 2008 at 12:00 am

best buy mobile

The lines outside Apple and AT&T stores were long and winding every time the iPhone was released. In the US, the iPhone is only available in those stores so people are forced to stay in line. There is some effect to the sales of the coveted touchscreen phone. For example, the Samsung Instinct, the most direct competitor of the iPhone, offered by Sprint is sold through third party vendors in addition to Samsung Stores and Sprint outlets. The iPhone is until now exclusively sold at it’s manufacturer and carrier. Selling it through third party vendors would definitely increase its sales.

Best Buy will be announcing that they will be selling the iPhone in less than a month’s time. Best Buy runs about 970 stores in the US plus 16 more Best Buy Mobile outlets. The target date to start the distribution is September 7th.

Best Buy has been trying to convince Apple to let them sell the iPhone since the first launch a year ago with the first iPhone. However, with the rampant unlocking of iPhones, Apple was hesitant to let their baby leak out somewhere else.

Another factor why Apple finally agreed to let Best Buy distribute the dvice is the completion of Best Buy Mobile’s fill upgrade. Every facility (Best Buy Store) now has a dedicated mobile department with trained staff. Last week, Best Buy announced it had completed a two-year conversion of its stores to include upgraded cell-phone departments under the Best Buy Mobile brand. It has upgraded its computer systems to handle cell-phone activation and spent 250,000 hours training its employees.

"We had a lot of work to do, obviously, to get in a position where Apple and AT&T would feel good about Best Buy Mobile carrying it, and that’s what we’ve done in the last 18 months," said Shawn Score, president of Best Buy Mobile. [Press Release]