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Refurbished iPhones to Hit Best Buy

Best Buy and the iPhone

Retailer Best Buy, seeking new ways to appeal to cost-conscious shoppers, said on Tuesday it is selling refurbished versions of Apple's iPhone 3G, priced about $50 less than new iPhones.

The electronics chain said the used iPhones, which were returned within 30 days of purchase, are priced at $149 for the model with 8 gigabytes (GB) of storage, while the 16 GB version is $249. A two-year service contract with AT&T is required.

New iPhone 3Gs currently sell for $199 and $299 at Best Buy's (NYSE: BBY) mobile stores.

"This is focusing on customers' needs, trying to provide as wide a range of products and networks for our consumers," said Scott Moore, vice president of marketing for Best Buy Mobile.

Buyers of first-generation Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhones can also upgrade to the faster refurbished 3G models at Best Buy, he said.

Moore said AT&T (NYSE: T), the exclusive wireless provider for the iPhone, offers refurbished iPhones online.

The sale of used iPhones comes as Best Buy, the top consumer electronics chain, seeks ways to fend off increased competition from discounters such as Wal-Mart Stores, which began selling the popular phone late last month.

Wal-Mart sells a new 8 GB iPhone 3G for $197 and $297 for the 16 GB model. The iPhone is also sold at Apple stores and AT&T stores.

Moore said Best Buy's move was not in response to other retailers' actions.