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Best Buy helps Apple put an iPhone under every tree

First 'independent' US retailer

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Best Buy next month becomes the first “independent” US retailer to start selling the iPhone, as Apple looks to establish the shiny device as this year’s tickle me Elmo.

The electronics store giant will start stocking the Jaysusfone in around 970 stores from September 7, Reuters reports, at price points of $199 and $299.

iPhone on Best Buy’s shelves will ensure that Americans won’t have to lineup at Apple or AT&T stores, but customers are still tied into an AT&T wireless contract.

Apple is said to ship 10 million of the things before the end of this year, so it could do with the extra retail space. According to Reuters, AT&T’s retail network still isn’t able to offer same day activation, but hopes to get that sorted in the coming weeks.

And if anyone thinks the deal means that at some point iPhone hungry Brits will be able to bypass O2, Carphone Warehouse and Apple are likely to be disappointed.

CPW has a wide-ranging alliance with Best Buy, under which it runs mobile outlets in the US chain’s warehouses. In fact, the two get on so well, that Best Buy bought a stake in CPW’s retail business in May, in a deal that will see the Best Buy brand rolled out in the UK.

So, if anything, the Apple/AT&T/O2/CPW/Best Buy circle has just become even more virtuous for all concerned. ®

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