updated 02:45 pm EDT, Mon September 15, 2008
Best Buy Mobile Canada
Best Buy Mobile will have its formal debut in Canada this week, according to an invite sent out to the press. The e-mail notification indicates a formal event for this Wednesday and suggests a near-term launch of the previously US-only initiative. Best Buy is known to be planning a cautious rollout and will have just three locations for the cellphone-oriented stores by the end of 2008, which will be located either inside Best Buy stores or in smaller, stand-alone shops.
The concept is billed as reducing some of the complications of selling cellphones, including technicians trained solely in supporting cellphones and the promise of device setup for inexperienced users who need more than just activation.
Best Buy's move potentially clears the path for sales of iPhones in Canada outside of more official channels. While a handful of phone-specific retail chains such as The Telephone Booth and Wireless Wave are allowed to stock iPhones, Apple stores themselves don't carry the device and so limit the options for the handset. US availability for the iPhone is currently limited to Best Buy Mobile stores due in part to the added level of customer service.