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iPhone Sales Opened Up To Best Buy

Minneapolis — Best Buy stores will become the first and only stores other than stores operated by Apple and AT&T to offer the Apple iPhone on Sept. 7 nationwide at all Best Buy Mobile outlets, except for a handful where AT&T service isn’t available.

“We believe we are the only ones that will sell it through holiday,” a Best Buy spokesman said.

The iPhone 3G will be sold through the chain’s Best Buy Mobile departments, available in 970 U.S. stores and featuring features salespeople dedicated to selling cellular phones, plans and accessories. Best Buy Mobile offers wireless plans from as many as nine carriers on up to 95 devices. All Best Buy stores also offer Apple’s iPods, and more than 600 Best Buy stores nationwide carry Apple’s Macintosh computers.

Best Buy plans to sell the iPhone 3G at the same prices as AT&T and Apple: $199 for the 8GB model and $299 for the 16GB model with new two-year contract with AT&T for qualifying customers.

“Our Best Buy Mobile employees have the training and expertise to deliver the best experience possible for our customers — from the initial purchase through the life of their iPhones.” said Brian J. Dunn, Best Buy president and COO. Best Buy Mobile staff, including part-timers, undergo at least 80 hours of training, plus continuing education, the company said. The departments provide multimedia and smart phone set up and personalization, including e-mail and data transfer.