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Quick Hits: iPhone Comes to Best Buy, Masses


Brief scrutiny of today's headlines.

The Apple (AAPL) iPhone is moving beyond the ranks of early adopters and into the mainstream.

Best Buy (BBY) will offer the iPhone starting September 7. It will be the first US chain to sell the gadget outside Apple's and AT&T's (T) own stores.

AT&T is the exclusive U.S. carrier for the iPhone and sells it at about 2,000 stores. Apple has about 190 U.S. stores.

Best Buy will offer the iPhone in 970 full-service stores and 16 Best Buy Mobile stores that resell phone service under the carrier's name. The chain also sells Apple's Mac computers and iPod media players, making the iPhone a logical progression.

Best Buy has been expanding its cell phone line as part of a 2-year effort to expand and upgrade its offerings. The store is perhaps best known for run-of-the-mill consumer electronics such as TVs, DVD players, computers, video games and computers, so snaring the iPhone is a coup.

Going mainstream will almost certainly boost iPhone's sales, but it may tarnish its image as a "must-have" item for geeks. Some may feel the luster of exclusivity is gone if just plain folks start snapping up iPhones at the mall.

But you can bet that Apple will soon come out with the third generation of the gizmo and true believers will once again camp out overnight to get the update... whatever it is.

The "smart" iPhone handles e-mail and Web surfing in addition to chit-chat. It's sleek and lightweight. There's no denying that it's nifty.

"Smart" phone sales are up about tenfold in two years. Despite all the flapdoodle surrounding Apple's latest device, some people hate the iPhone.
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