The iPhone has already become a global sales success but Apple is seeking to further expand the reach of the coveted device. Starting next month, Best Buy will become the first outside retailer to offer Apple's iPhone 3G when it begins selling the popular handset on its 970 U.S. stores, at price points of $199 and $299.

The move marks a major expansion of Apple's channel strategy for the iPhone which, until now, was only available from AT&T and its own stores. It could also help Best Buy attract more foot traffic to its stores, as it struggles to compete with discount retailers who are increasingly selling electronics such as Wal-Mart and Costco.

Of course, the deal doesn't mean customers will be able to bypass AT&T. Phones sold through Best Buy will still require a two-year contract with the carrier.