Wal-Mart’s $99 iPhone: Not Just a Rumor?

A cheaper version of Apple’s iPhone will be sold at Wal-Mart Stores Inc for $99 later this month, the New York Post said.

Two models of the popular device will hit shelves at the retail giant, the paper said, citing employees at several stores.

Employees also told San Jose-based Mercury News that the $99 iPhones would be 4-gigabyte models, and that Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) was attempting a pre-Christmas launch.

The iPhone went on sale starting July 11 at $199 for the model with 8 gigabytes of storage and $299 for the 16-gigabyte version.

However, iPhone users need to sign up with data service provider AT&T (NYSE: T) for a plan that costs at least $30 a month for unlimited Web access and another $5 for 200 text messages or $20 for unlimited texting.

Wal-Mart has been gaining market share and clout in the recession as cash-strapped shoppers seek out its low prices.

Neither Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) nor Wal-Mart were immediately available to comment.

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