Ladies and gentlemen, the $99 iPhone

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If you haven’t spent enough this holiday season and are in the market for a new phone before the calendar turns to 2009, you might be pleased to know that Apple is offering a $99 iPhone until Dec. 31. It’s 8 GB, black and ‘refurbished,’ which means ‘previously owned devices that have been unused or lightly used and returned during the 30-day trial period,’ according to an explanation on AT&T’s website.

The $99 iPhone has been speculated about so much that the announcement, finally, is kind of a letdown — kind of like how you might feel if you were waiting and waiting for Christmas this year, and then it passed and you have to go back to work tomorrow. The word I’m looking for here is ‘meh.’


Some bloggers had speculated that Wal-Mart would sell a 4 GB, $99 iPhone that would be a permanent fixture in the stores.The retail giant quashed those rumors Friday when it announced that it would be selling the iPhone 3G, beginning today, for $197, which is two whole dollars less than Apple’s retail price.

Still think it’s a bargain? Remember: You might end up spending those two extra dollars on gas driving to Wal-Mart, or circling the parking lot looking for spaces when you get there.

— Alana Semuels