- Starting today, iPads will be on sale at Wal-Mart and its sister warehouse store chain Sam's Club, both in-store and online (although online customers will have to go to their local Wal-Mart or Sam's Club to take delivery)
- Target, Wal-Mart's biggest competitor, started selling iPads earlier this month
- Best Buy, the largest consumer electronics retailer in the U.S., started selling iPads a few months ago
- AT&T will begin selling iPads in its stores by the end of the month, and will offer services to help businesses develop their own iPad apps and integrate iPads into their operations
- Perhaps the most important news is that Verizon will also start selling iPads in its stores by the end of October, but with an interesting twist. Apple doesn't have CDMA-compatible iPads avalable (CDMA is the mobile standard that Verizon and Sprint use), so Verizon will sell WiFi-only iPads in a bundle with its MiFi mobile hotspots, at exactly the same price as the equivalent 3G GSM iPads already on sale. Like AT&T, Verizon will offer the iPad/MiFi bundle contract-free; users can sign up for wireless data service on a month-to-month basis, at rates that are the same or better than AT&T's. The Verizon bundle is even more flexible because the bundled MiFi can be used as a WiFi hotspot for other devices as well.
Friday, October 15, 2010
Last week, Bernstein Research announced that the iPad has become the fastest-selling consumer electronics product in history, and an analyst from Ticonderoga Securities who spoke with one of Apple's component suppliers said that the company is gearing up to sell 45 million iPads worldwide next year. Apple's putting in place a distribution channel that will be able to sell that many iPads. By the end of this month, Apple will have at least tripled the number of stores selling the iPad in the U.S. since it was first launched earlier this year, and one of the new distribution deals is a harbinger of much bigger deals to come: