updated 11:05 pm EDT, Mon October 11, 2010
Walmart says iPad in stores October 15
Walmart this evening confirmed that the iPad would reach its stores this week. The tablet arrives in its stores on Friday, October 15, and will include all models at the same prices that Apple charges. "Hundreds" of stores will have it at first, Walmart said, but the expansion should reach 2,300 US shops by mid-November.
As with other Apple devices, the iPad will be available online through Walmart, but only for in-store pickup. The iPad will be part of a separate showcase of Apple hardware in-store.
The branching out to Walmart comes relatively early in the iPad's lifecycle as Apple didn't start selling the iPhone at the big-box chain until December 2008, after it had been established. A similar pattern followed for the iPod. Apple's decision may have been prompted by accelerated competition from rival tablets such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab, which will reach all four major US carriers within the next several weeks. E-readers may have played a similar role with the Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook now sitting in retail chains they hadn't seen in the past, ranging from Best Buy to Target.