Apple iPhone 3G to Hit Walmart Today, December 28, 2008! OMG!?

Has the world gone mad? Is the apocalypse coming? These questions are pondered not because of destructive fanatical religious beliefs, but because the iPhone 3G is about to go on sale at Walmart – and at a discount!

Will the iPhone be relegated to the same status as the generic “Greater Value” brand found on the shelves of this bargain basement megastore? Will Apple’s image be tarnished having their flagship mobile product sold at a discount retail chain?! Read on to gain enlightenment.

The image associated with Walmart is one that conjures up perceptions of discounts and “always low prices” that attracted customers who specifically sought out these bargains above all else.

Over the last few years, Walmart has attempted to change its image and expand its customer base in the United States by targeting different demographic groups.

They even revamped their slogan to reflect that change, “ Save Money Live Better”.

This approach, coupled with its low prices, ranked Walmart the largest public corporation by revenue, as reported by the 2008 Fortune Global 500 published by Fortune Magazine.

Delivering relevant products at unbeatable low prices to a diverse customer population is what propelled Walmart to that coveted top ranking.

That said, you can begin to see the true value of selling your product at Walmart. This is a very savvy competitive move on Apple’s part because it will be sold at a retailer that draws in about 100 million customers a week! It increases iPhone’s exposure to a much larger customer base, seemingly overnight!

The inherent value of the iPhone 3G is that it can perform multiple functions with just one device. It can be a cell phone, a camera and a music and video player. It can function like a netbook with features such as email, instant messaging and the ability to navigate the Internet.

Moreover, numerous add-on capabilities can be conferred upon the device through the App Store for less than $10 and most of the time for free! Because of this capability it will appeal to a broad range of consumers, especially those looking for products with good value routinely found at Walmart.

As Steve Jobs stated at the last financial quarterly results delivered in October 2008, “I think we have to be the best and I think we have to not leave a price umbrella underneath us.”

This statement, as interpreted by me, says that although the iPhone 3G is going to be sold at a discount retailer, do not think that Apple’s commitment to quality and support will drop or waiver and do not be surprised if new models and/or the current handsets about to be sold, will sell for even less than the $2 discount initially being offered for the iPhone 3G 8GB ($197) and 16GB ($297) models.

With the economic downturn, discount retailers will only increase in popularity for customers seeking greater “value.”  Thanks to Walmart, many customers will come into contact with the very valuable iPhone 3G.

What are your thoughts on this announcement? How do you think this move will affect Apple?

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