Wal-Mart to Offer Apple’s Pre-Orders for First Time

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT), the world’s largest retailer, will take pre-orders for the new Apple Inc. (AAPL) iPhone for the first time and offer discounts on the device.

The iPhone 5, announced yesterday, can be ordered tomorrow at 8 a.m. at U.S. stores, Sarah Spencer, a spokeswoman for the Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer, said in an interview. The newest version of the best-selling smartphone will sell for $189.97 with a two-year contract, Spencer said. That’s cheaper than the $199 price announced by Apple, which will also begin taking orders tomorrow.

Wal-Mart also reduced the prices on older iPhones, Spencer said. The iPhone 4S was cut to $89.97 from $148 with a two-year contract. The older iPhone 4 will sell for 97 cents with a two- year contract, reduced from its previous $48.88 price tag.

The iPhone 5 will become the best-selling consumer electronics device of all time, according to Carl Howe, an analyst at Boston-based Yankee Group. He’s among analysts predicting that Apple will sell more than 10 million units by month’s end, surpassing the record set last year by the 4S model. The iPhone has sold more than 244 million units since its debut in 2007.

Pre-orders will be available for pick-up on Sept. 21, the same day the iPhone 5 hits Wal-Mart and Apple stores.

Wal-Mart rose 1.4 percent to $75.14 at the close in New York. The shares have gained 26 percent this year.

Target, Best Buy

Target Corp. (TGT), the second-largest U.S. discount chain, couldn’t confirm if it would sell the iPhone 5, Katie Boylan, a spokeswoman, said in an e-mail.

Best Buy Co. (BBY) will sell the iPhone 5, Jeff Haydock, a company spokesman, said in an e-mail. Haydock didn’t have any other details.

RadioShack Corp. (RSH) will offer the latest iPhone on Sept. 21, Eric Bruner, a spokesman, said in an e-mail. The electronics chain will also offer at least $200 to trade in a 4S and a minimum of $115 for an iPhone 4, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Matt Townsend in New York at mtownsend9@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Robin Ajello at rajello@bloomberg.net

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