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iPad coming to Walmart stores on Oct. 15

post #1 of 27
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Walmart has announced that hundreds of its stores will begin selling the iPad on Friday, Oct. 15, eventually expanding to 2,300 stores in November.

Walmart revealed the news Monday evening, confirming last week's rumor that the Bentonville, Arkansas mega-retailer would start carrying Apple's iPad this week. Electronista was first to report, noting that the company's stores will offer all 6 models of the tablet device.

The iPad, which analysts claim has had the fastest adoption rate of any consumer electronics device, can be ordered online from Walmart, but must be picked up in store. Retail stores will feature the device as part of a "separate showcase of Apple hardware," the report noted.

According to TUAW, some Walmart stores have already placed the iPad on
post #2 of 27
Whenever I need to pick up paper towels, pistachio nuts and and an iPad, I go to Walmart.

GTSC
post #3 of 27
But according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, Android tablets are going to outsell the iPad. I'm not to sure about that since they require you to sign a $399 two-year contract if you want to buy it without full retail price.
post #4 of 27
How much more news on "iPad coming to Walmart"?
Does anyone actually care?
post #5 of 27
Wonder how many Apple can make before 2011. Sounds like the iPad will be THE hot item for Christmas 2010. I hope Apple can make enough, I rather doubt it though.
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post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Realistic View Post

Wonder how many Apple can make before 2011. Sounds like the iPad will be THE hot item for Christmas 2010. I hope Apple can make enough, I rather doubt it though.

Obviously Apple does not share your view on this one. There was no need to give Walmart the green light, at least from Apple's perspective at this time unless Apple is confident that production can keep up with demand.

It makes sense that since the iPad is Apple's response to the netbook, Apple would want to sell iPads via the same retailers who had a hand in moving all those disappointing netbooks.
post #7 of 27
There are several different angles here to this question.

First I'm hoping this indicates a massive increase in production. Just to put five of each SKU into all of Walmarts stores would be a major order. If Apple has trouble into the Christmas season keeping production matched to demand this could be a very bad thing.

The flip side is that Walmart isn't exactly the place to go for state of the art electronics. Will this lift Walmart or Sink Apple?

Walmarts in store marketing isn't exactly inspiring so just how much such a venue could increase sales is an interesting question. Especially considering that Walmarts ability to discount will likely be very limited.

Finally what about support? I know I'm about to use a negative characterization here but many Walmart shoppers could be classified as stupid. How will they get through activation to start. Will Apples support lines be flooded.

Lastly buying electronics from Walmart is generally a rip off. Especially accessories. In theory Walmart is a discounter but generally they engage in the same rip offs the big chain electronics house do. For example grossly over priced cables and accessories.


Dave
post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Realistic View Post

Wonder how many Apple can make before 2011. Sounds like the iPad will be THE hot item for Christmas 2010. I hope Apple can make enough, I rather doubt it though.

I was just posting about this on another thread. I think opening up to this large nationwide store chains is business proof that Apple feels they cornered the market for tablets and therefore need to grow their distribution (like they did with the iPod) -and- they feel they will have enough product to satisfy this increased distribution. Well, the last point is more accurately stated as: they feel they will have too many units to be handled through their current retail methods. Im sure there will be runs on supply all over.
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post #9 of 27
My fear is that Wal-Mart will treat iPads like a window-shopping item and when the customers actually come in try to sell them "cheaper" Android tablets instead... that tie the person into a long-term contract. Wal-Mart probably gets a much bigger kickback for signing customers up to the data plans than the commission on an iPad. And if someone insists on buying the iPad, well, they have 4 more in the back room to replace their lure with.
post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

There are several different angles here to this question.

First I'm hoping this indicates a massive increase in production. Just to put five of each SKU into all of Walmarts stores would be a major order. If Apple has trouble into the Christmas season keeping production matched to demand this could be a very bad thing.

The flip side is that Walmart isn't exactly the place to go for state of the art electronics. Will this lift Walmart or Sink Apple?

Walmarts in store marketing isn't exactly inspiring so just how much such a venue could increase sales is an interesting question. Especially considering that Walmarts ability to discount will likely be very limited.

Finally what about support? I know I'm about to use a negative characterization here but many Walmart shoppers could be classified as stupid. How will they get through activation to start. Will Apples support lines be flooded.

Lastly buying electronics from Walmart is generally a rip off. Especially accessories. In theory Walmart is a discounter but generally they engage in the same rip offs the big chain electronics house do. For example grossly over priced cables and accessories.


Dave


This will neither lift Walmart or sink Apple. After all, Walmart already sells iPods, including the Touch, and the iPhone. The iPad is not part of the OSX family but rather is the top product in the iOS range.

As for Walmart shoppers being this or that, having worked at Walmart on the floor, I can tell you that there is a wide range of clientele using Walmart just as I'm sure there is a wide range of clientele frequenting all other retailers. Head out to a Walmart parking lot and take a look around. You're liable to see lots of expensive rides, clearly not owned by "trailer trash" for lack of a better term. Besides, do you really think Apple is in the business of selling products only to a very defined segment of the population? Any one who wants to buy an Apple product is welcome. Fact is, Apple's stuff is easier to figure out than anything the competition is offering. I would sooner recommend an Apple for someone who is a tech dummy than a PC.

It is true that it's going to be hit-and-miss regarding the ability of staff at your local Walmart to help get customers set up properly but then again, sadly, you get that when you try buying product from any general-merchandise retailer. What Apple is counting on is that the process of setting up an iPad is pretty much the same as an iPod Touch. Millions of those seem to wind up used correctly regardless of where they are bought so I suppose the same could be expected of the iPad. Consider that you don't have to do anything more complicated than connect the iPad to a computer that has iTunes set up, just like a Touch, and it goes from there.

If there is a concern, it's that the iPad might well be offered up as a full-function computer which, in its early life, it is not. But then again, being as Apple has not allowed the iPad to be separated from the iOS family, you realize the second you get it home that it's part of that eco-system, distinct from the full-function computer line.

I bought a netbook last year and found it to be far more difficult to live with and set up than any of my Apple products. I only bought it as a low-cost storage solution for when I was travelling and in that role it worked well. But I have to say that Apple's products are far more consumer-friendly than anything from the PC side. As such, while there will be complications in not selling exclusively through the Apple retail network, the payoff is far too great for Apple to ignore. Most consumers will be able to work through this, even with less than stellar assistance from staff selling the product if only because so many of them already know how it all works, having done the same thing with their iPods. This is what Apple hopes will allow quick mass-market distribution.
post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booga View Post

My fear is that Wal-Mart will treat iPads like a window-shopping item and when the customers actually come in try to sell them "cheaper" Android tablets instead... that tie the person into a long-term contract. Wal-Mart probably gets a much bigger kickback for signing customers up to the data plans than the commission on an iPad. And if someone insists on buying the iPad, well, they have 4 more in the back room to replace their lure with.

At some point in the future that could be an issue but for right now, do you think there's much competition for the iPad? How many 9.7" tablets do you think consumers have their choice of?

Besides, the iPad is such a hot item and the numbers likely to be shipped to Walmarts so small that they will likely be selling out within hours of getting in more stock. For Walmart it's all about getting people into the store to buy whatever. Even if the iPads are sold out, they've accomplished the goal of bringing in consumers and while they're in the store, they're liable to buy something.

We're a long way from the scenario where the iPad will be in good supply and having to compete with a whole bunch of other tablets. That's certainly not the deal for this holiday season.
post #12 of 27
Another point is that selling the ipad in Walmart creates a bigger platform not just for the ipad, but increases Apple's presence in Walmart and strengthens the relationship, thereby resulting in higher sales of all Apple products at this retailer. Curiosity about the ipad alone will put customers right in the Apple section.
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post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Lastly buying electronics from Walmart is generally a rip off. Especially accessories. In theory Walmart is a discounter but generally they engage in the same rip offs the big chain electronics house do. For example grossly over priced cables and accessories.

Dave

What?!? Are you trying to say that the glow in the dark miPad made by Aapple that I bought at Walmart isn't the real thing?!!
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post #14 of 27
Somhow, the typical Apple purchaser does not remind me of the Walmart demographic.
post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booga View Post

My fear is that Wal-Mart will treat iPads like a window-shopping item and when the customers actually come in try to sell them "cheaper" Android tablets instead... that tie the person into a long-term contract. Wal-Mart probably gets a much bigger kickback for signing customers up to the data plans than the commission on an iPad. And if someone insists on buying the iPad, well, they have 4 more in the back room to replace their lure with.

Walmart is in the business of selling lots of things at lower prices than just about anyone, so I believe once the word gets out the iPad will sell like crazy there. Apple stockholders should rejoice at any increase in distribution and exposure to Apple products. I'm interested in getting more potential customers into direct exposure with all things Apple.

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post #16 of 27
Apple started its own retail chain because it was unhappy with the way chains such as CompUSA displayed and demonstrated its products. While CompUSA no longer exists anyway, how is WalMart going to be an improvement on that?

In addition, Apple considers itself to be an upscale brand and it's certainly priced that way. Upscale brands are not sold at WalMart. Apple, the brand, has a certain image and you don't want to destroy that brand identity for the sake of some extra sales units.

And that's aside from the issues of how WalMart does business, how they treat their vendors and employees and their negative affect on local economies and small businesses. Does Apple really want to be associated with all that?

Personally, I think this is a huge mistake on Apple's part, but I also think that selling the iPhone in Radio Shack and iPods at stores like BJs (and I assume Costco and Sam's Club) is a bad idea.

And if Apple is going to expand into every retail environment it can find, then how can it rationalize the very high investment in its own retail stores? I can understand going to other retailers in markets where there are no Apple stores, but not in markets where there are Apple stores.
post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

Apple started its own retail chain because it was unhappy with the way chains such as CompUSA displayed and demonstrated its products. While CompUSA no longer exists anyway, how is WalMart going to be an improvement on that?

In addition, Apple considers itself to be an upscale brand and it's certainly priced that way. Upscale brands are not sold at WalMart. Apple, the brand, has a certain image and you don't want to destroy that brand identity for the sake of some extra sales units.

And that's aside from the issues of how WalMart does business, how they treat their vendors and employees and their negative affect on local economies and small businesses. Does Apple really want to be associated with all that?

Personally, I think this is a huge mistake on Apple's part, but I also think that selling the iPhone in Radio Shack and iPods at stores like BJs (and I assume Costco and Sam's Club) is a bad idea.

And if Apple is going to expand into every retail environment it can find, then how can it rationalize the very high investment in its own retail stores? I can understand going to other retailers in markets where there are no Apple stores, but not in markets where there are Apple stores.

Couldn't agree more!!! Obviously, you're too good to shop at a place like Walmart which only caters to Trailer Trash like me, my family, my friends, and business associates. If everyone has an iPad, people like you won't be able to feel "special" and "important" because you own a $500 iPad.

I think that you should call Steve right now and tell him to keep Apple products out of "crappy" stores like Walmart that, after-all, only sells "clunky" products...
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post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

Apple started its own retail chain because it was unhappy with the way chains such as CompUSA displayed and demonstrated its products. While CompUSA no longer exists anyway, how is WalMart going to be an improvement on that?

In addition, Apple considers itself to be an upscale brand and it's certainly priced that way. Upscale brands are not sold at WalMart. Apple, the brand, has a certain image and you don't want to destroy that brand identity for the sake of some extra sales units.

And that's aside from the issues of how WalMart does business, how they treat their vendors and employees and their negative affect on local economies and small businesses. Does Apple really want to be associated with all that?

Personally, I think this is a huge mistake on Apple's part, but I also think that selling the iPhone in Radio Shack and iPods at stores like BJs (and I assume Costco and Sam's Club) is a bad idea.

And if Apple is going to expand into every retail environment it can find, then how can it rationalize the very high investment in its own retail stores? I can understand going to other retailers in markets where there are no Apple stores, but not in markets where there are Apple stores.

Apple is not an upscale brand as in Mercedes Benz, Rolex, etc. Apple makes products with mass appeal. The company has owned the media player space for years and those products sell in huge volumes. Apple is about quality, sure, but quality that sells in huge numbers, as opposed to the sort of low-volume, more exclusive stuff that, yes, you're correct, a Walmart would not carry. But Apple is not averse to selling products by the millions to the "unwashed masses".

Keep in mind that Apple stores only serve major markets and yet millions of us live in smaller communities, perhaps within driving distance of an Apple Store or Apple reseller but even at that, not that close. The closest Apple reseller is still a 60-minute drive away round trip. The Apple Store itself more than two hours. In the power centre where our local Walmart is located, there is a Best Buy and Futureshop (it's a Canadian chain similar to Best Buy and owned now by Best Buy) located on either side. They are both already carrying the iPad so I don't imagine brand image would be tarnished by having the Walmart in between carrying it as well.

What you have to understand is that Apple sees the iPad as an alternative to lower-priced laptops and netbooks and as such it wants a presence in all the locations where those machines are sold. Walmart sells those computers and as such, Apple wants its iPad right there as an alternative. Meanwhile, Walmart wants to have the hottest electronic device this holiday season bringing folks in because once you're in the door, you're bound to buy something.

It is not a stretch for a retailer like Walmart selling LED flat-panel TVs costing upwards of $2,000 Cdn., to carry a $600 tablet. Fact is, when it comes to elite brands in the manner that you seem to be implying, it's pretty much non-existent in the personal computer field. Apple is as close as you get but Apple is not nearly as elite as you suggest. It just seems higher-end because of all the cheap, sub-standard competition.
post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post

It is not a stretch for a retailer like Walmart selling LED flat-panel TVs costing upwards of $2,000 Cdn., to carry a $600 tablet. Fact is, when it comes to elite brands in the manner that you seem to be implying, it's pretty much non-existent in the personal computer field. Apple is as close as you get but Apple is not nearly as elite as you suggest. It just seems higher-end because of all the cheap, sub-standard competition.

Perfect comparison (tv's vs. iPad) but I do wonder how Walmart will handle the activation/syncing issue... not that they can't handle it but just wondering how.
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post #20 of 27
It just amazes me how people get upset that iPads are being sold at Walmart.

I'll grant you that I don't go into Walmart very often, but I am among the minority of American shoppers. For people living in rural communities, Walmart may be the only big box retailer within a reasonable distance of their homes.

Walmart has sold iPods, iPhones etc. for a long time. It appears that Apple has gotten to the point with manufacturing where they can crank enough to satisfy the demand of their own retail channel as well as the big box retailers.

The holiday season is coming up, and many manufacturers of iPad clones are sitting in the wings ready to release a competing product.

For Apple to make the product widely available at this time is genius. I think most of the fanbois who wanted one already have done so. Many living living in large cities serviced by one or more Apple stores have gotten a chance to see them, and many have already purchased one or more. (we have 2 in our household).

Now comes the next wave of buyers. Having them available in such an accessible fashion when the competitors are hoping to try and get some traction I think bodes really well for Apple.

The iPad like the iPod is a consumer oriented device that takes very little handholding. It's not as if Walmart is being authorized to sell MBP's.

Besides the iOS devices are sort of a gateway drug to other Apple products. My family only uses Apple computers now largely because my youngest son rejected an offer of a Creative Zen mp3 player for his birthday, choosing an iPod mini instead. Once that device got into the house, the rest of us slowly converted after seeing first hand the elegance of the Apple designs.
post #21 of 27
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post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Just to put five of each SKU into all of Walmarts stores would be a major order. If Apple has trouble into the Christmas season keeping production matched to demand this could be a very bad thing.

Not so. Do the math based on your assumption.

6 SKUs X 5 of each SKU X 2,300 WalMart stores = 69,000 units. A pittance at current production rates.

Betcha Apple is geared to sell at least a million through the WalMart channel by Christmas. WalMart will sell more than 69,000 on Black Friday alone.

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post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post

Obviously Apple does not share your view on this one. There was no need to give Walmart the green light, at least from Apple's perspective at this time unless Apple is confident that production can keep up with demand.

There is no way to know for sure what demand will be like when the shopping season rolls around.
Quote:
It makes sense that since the iPad is Apple's response to the netbook, Apple would want to sell iPads via the same retailers who had a hand in moving all those disappointing netbooks.

IPad is a bit of a disappointment too. Maybe you have a point here.
post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

There is no way to know for sure what demand will be like when the shopping season rolls around.

Well, duh. Another blinding glimpse of the obvious. But it's still possible to make projections.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

IPad is a bit of a disappointment too.

Okay - then go sit in the corner and be disappointed with a device that you probably don't even own.

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post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

There is no way to know for sure what demand will be like when the shopping season rolls around.

IPad is a bit of a disappointment too. Maybe you have a point here.

Disappointment how? It is exactly what Apple says it is. No more, no less. If you think you can do better, by all means build your own tablet.

Fact is, no other manufacturer has been able to put out a tablet anyone wants to buy. And for a first-generation product what really stands out with the iPad is how few glitches the unit has displayed. It has to be one of the most polished first-generation products ever.

If you're referring to lack of support for Flash, six months from now nobody will care because most, if not all, web sites will have been set up to accommodate the iOS line of products which already number in the millions.

And in regards to connectivity, the iPad is not designed to be a laptop or desktop substitute. It's a complimentary device and in that role, is well designed and equipped. Netbooks get a failing grade because they are basically very poor, smallish laptops.
post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walney View Post

Best for you not to go into Costco... they sell iMacs and MacBook Pros too...

Unfortunately Costco does not carry Mac computers. Furthermore Costco is discontinuing ALL apple products after current supplies are sold through. Apple refuses to let Costco sell the iPod via it website or sell the iPad. Until Apple does Jim Sinegal has given the axe to ALL Apple products. BTW Costco sells over $600 million dollars of Apple products a year.
post #27 of 27

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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