updated 11:15 am EDT, Fri September 24, 2010
Target confirms iPad in stores October 3
Target on Friday confirmed plans to sell the iPad in its stores. The retail chain will carry four models of Apple's tablet as of October 3 at pricing starting from the same $499 as Apple itself. Executive Merchandising VP Kathee Tesija didn't say which models would be cut from the usual six, but both 3G and Wi-Fi versions will be available.
Buyers with a Target credit card will get a five percent discount if they buy the tablet from October 17 onwards.
The move expands the iPad's distribution at a critical point in the holidays but also puts Apple into more direct competition with the Amazon Kindle. Target was the first retail presence for Amazon, which is new to retail and is only just reaching Best Buy at an undefined point in the fall. The new deal gives the rivals closer retail overlap.
Amazon continues to lead in e-book share but has regularly trailed the iPad since it arrived in April. The online retailer never officially publishes Kindle device sales numbers, citing a competitive advantage, but is widely thought to have had its lifetime Kindle sales eclipsed in three months by the iPad. The tablet is much more expensive but has had the advantages both of a wider focus and a much stronger retail presence, as it had both Apple stores, Best Buy and some Apple resellers from the start.