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Quick Hits: Best Buy to Sell Secondhand iPhones


Brief scrutiny of today's headlines.

Wanna buy a used iPhone? Best Buy has 'em.

Best Buy (BBY) believes the refurbished Apple (AAPL) iPhone will appeal to cost-conscious users during the economic downturn. The retailer now sells used versions of the iPhone 3G for about $50 less than new devices, Reuters reports.

This raises a basic question: Is the gizmo a status symbol, or merely a communication device?

Those who see the iPhone as a status symbol probably would recoil from a used model; those who see it as just a tool (and are pinched financially) would almost certainly welcome a refurbished device.

But it's hard to imagine a bifurcated market among Apple's true believers. The news comes just a day after the device was hacked by an outfit calling itself the iPhone Dev Team - which could mean lost revenue for Apple.

Best Buy says the used phones, returned with 30 days of purchase, sell for $149 for the 8-gigabyte model and $249 for the 16-gigabyte version. Buyers must sign a 2-year service contract with AT&T (T).

Best Buy sells new models of the phone for $199 and $299.

Lower prices are good news for consumers, but will those who fondle and adore their Apple gizmos bite? And what happens to the delicate mental state of Apple aficionados if members of The Great Unwashed start carrying the object of their desire?
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