will become the first outside retailer to offer
iPhone 3G when it begins selling the popular handset next month.
The Minneapolis-based electronics retailer said its Best Buy Mobile stores will begin selling the iPhone 3G nationwide on Sept. 7 for the suggested retail price of $199 for the 8-gigabyte model and $299 for the 16-gigabyte version.
The iPhone 3G will still require a new two-year contract with
for qualifying customers. Last week, Best Buy completed a two-year conversion of its 970 stores to include Best Buy Mobile in order to offer the iPhone, as well as an array of other wireless options. Best Buy Mobile offers wireless plans from as many as nine carriers and up to 95 devices.
"Our Best Buy Mobile employees have the training and expertise to deliver the best experience possible for our customers -- from the initial purchase through the life of their iPhones," said Best Buy President and COO Brian Dunn in a statement.
Best Buy said that its employees, even part-time staff, have undergone at least 80 hours of intensive training, as well as continuing education, on mobile-phone technology and trends.
"As we roll the concept to all Best Buy stores in the U.S., we're seeing a 10-fold year-over-year increase in smart-phone purchases," Dunn said.
Shares of Apple recently were up $2.61, or 1.5%, to $179.34. Best Buy was higher by 99 cents, or 2.2%, to $45.90.