WalMart to sell iPhone 3G starting Dec. 28

Wal-Mart Friday announced the long-expected availability of the iPhone 3G at almost 2,500 stores beginning Sunday.

The retailer will offer the black 8GB iPhone 3G model for US$197, and the 16GB black or white model for $297. Speculation last month suggested Wal-Mart would sell a 4GB iPhone 3G for $99, so the higher-priced offerings may come as a disappointment to some prospective buyers.

As expected, the phones come with a new two-year service agreement from AT&T. Starting Sunday, customers will be able to find information and assistance at the Apple iPhone 3G kiosks located at Wal-Mart's retail stores.

Wal-Mart rival Best Buy has already started selling iPhones. Wal-Mart, however, noted that its "price match policy" lets stores match the price of any local competitor's advertised prices.

Wal-Mart is expected to help Apple's efforts to reach conservative shoppers who might not visit Apple stores.

Meanwhile, as retailers stock a wider array of mobile devices, the iPhone helps Wal-Mart offer arguably the trendiest phone on the market.

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