It's official. Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) will begin selling Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) 3G iPhones over the weekend. The popular smartphone will be available at the country's leading retailer on Sunday.

Despite earlier outlandish rumors claiming that Apple would be introducing lower-priced 4-gigabyte 3G models, Wal-Mart will be selling the same models that are available through Apple, AT&T (NYSE:T), and Best Buy (NYSE:BBY).

Wal-Mart's price points will be $197 for the 8-gig model and $297 for the 16-gig model. Those are tactical price points. Shaving just two bucks off the retail price won't be enough to sway shoppers from the existing outlets, but it's just enough to give Wal-Mart its street cred as a discounter.

Will sales of the iconic phone be brisk? Probably not. Since the iPhones are tethered to costly two-year AT&T data plans, they are likely out of reach for the typical Wal-Mart shopper. The real allure here is that Wal-Mart will earn plenty of style points.

Yes, Wal-Mart is gradually becoming cool again. It started in the fall, when Wal-Mart landed an exclusive deal with Aussie rockers AC/DC. Granted exclusivity on the band's new CD and even a Rock Band video game made Wal-Mart a popular stop for rockers who have probably mocked Wal-Mart in the past.

The discounting giant has certainly earned the knocks in the past. Anyone remember when it tried to be hip with a back-to-school social networking site two years ago? It quietly shut it down just two months later. Taking on Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) with a mail-order DVD rental service also faltered. Despite Wal-Mart's girth, it landed only 100,000 subscribers before surrendering them to Netflix.  

But Wal-Mart's scoring more hits than misses these days. During an economic lull when shoppers gravitate to bargains, Wal-Mart was going to be cool by default. However, it's going for the jugular by rubbing elbows with musical artists, Apple, and Rock Band video game maker Viacom (NYSE:VIA).

Carrying a Wal-Mart shopping bag is no longer a fashion faux pas.

iRock on, Wal-Mart.

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