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Best Buy punts resurrected Jesus Phones

Answers AT&T, Wal-Mart

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Following in the footsteps of AT&T, US electronics retailer Best Buy is now selling resurrected Jesus Phones at a discount.

Beginning today, 350 Best Buy Mobile stores are offering returned and refurbished iPhones for $50 less than brand new models. That's $149 for the 8GB model and $249 for its 16GB sister. Best Buy will only resell phones returned within 30 days of initial purchase, and it claims each will be refurbed to "like-new operating condition."

By the end of January, the company says, its resurrected Jesus Phone offer will expand to all Best Buy stores selling wireless service from AT&T.

"The refreshed iPhone is a great example of the depth of our offering, and clear evidence of why Best Buy is the best place to purchase a mobile phone," reads a canned statement from Scott Moore, vice president of marketing for Best Buy Mobile. "Where else can you get everything you need to make sure your phone can be utilized to its fullest."

Though Best Buy denies it, this move is likely a response to mega-retailer/community killer Wal-Mart, which began offering (slightly-)discounted iPhones late last month. Wal-Mart is selling brand new Jesus Phones at a $2 discount. That's $197 for the 8GB model and $297 for the 16GB model.

Despite the endless rumors, Wal-Mart is not selling the phone at a two-digit price point. But AT&T is. The US wireless carrier - Apple's exclusive partner in the US - announced a $99 refurbished 8GB iPhone on December 29.

In order to purchase any of these cut-rate iPhones from Best Buy, Wal-Mart, or AT&T, you must sell your cellular soul to AT&T for two years. Naturally. ®

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