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Wiis and iPhones? Wal-Mart corners the 'must-haves' this winter

By / December 8, 2008



Where can you find both of this year's hot tech gifts? The rumors say Wal-Mart.

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The retail mega-chain boasted to Reuters yesterday that it's sitting on "tens of thousands" of Nintendo Wii consoles. This massive cache of video game systems went on sale through Wal-Mart's website this morning.

Even though this is the third holiday season since the Wii debuted, the popular console is still surprisingly hard to find. Don't expect Wal-Mart's stocks to last for long. [Update: Walmart.com is sold out.]

If you're looking for a more adult gift, rumors are swirling that Wal-Mart will soon offer Apple's similarly coveted iPhone at a major discount. Employees at five Wal-Mart branches in California told Bloomberg News that the touch-screen smartphone will soon arrive on their store shelves – possibly for $99. Apple currently sells 3G iPhones for $199 and $299, depending on drive size.

If the scuttlebutt is true, then Wal-Mart will be the second outside retailer to sell the device. Best Buy became the first in September.

A word of warning for penny-pinchers: Even if you save a bundle by picking up an iPhone for $99, you'll have to keep paying about $99 a month for its hefty service plan. Millions of happy iPhone customers don't seem to mind the above-average bill. But think about the person for whom you're buying it. You might not want to give the gift that keeps on taking.

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