How big is Apple’s (AAPL) reported deal to sell its iPhones at Walmart (WMT) stores? Pretty big, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster says in a report today — big enough that Walmart could sell as many iPhones next year as Apple’s retail stores do.
Munster’s estimate is still based on his very bullish prediction that Apple will sell 45 million iPhones next year, which is partly based on Apple expanding their iPhone line to more products than they currently sell, including cheaper iPhones. So consider this hypothetical.
He thinks Apple will sell 30% of those iPhones — 13.5 million — in the U.S., and about one third of those — 4.5 million — at Apple’s 208 retail stores. For Walmart’s 3,500 stores to reach that sales level — also 4.5 million iPhones — they’d each have to sell 6% of each Apple store’s total volume, which he thinks is “achievable.”
Munster notes that he’s not jacking his 2009 iPhone sales guess from 45 million because new distribution deals like Walmart are already baked into his estimates. But he thinks Street numbers don’t “accurately reflect the potential impact from Walmart stores on iPhone sales in CY09.”
How about that $99 rumoured iPhone at Walmart? Unlikely, Munster says. (We agree, but think it’d be a smart idea anyway.) But he does expect Apple to include a lower-priced iPhone next year — as do we — perhaps $99, which we think would significantly boost Apple’s iPhone sales.
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