updated 11:15 pm EDT, Mon September 5, 2011
GameStop could sell iPads, iPhones soon
GameStop could take the unusual step of becoming an Apple reseller as a way of staying relevant in the modern gaming world. A rumor Monday claimed that the store would soon sell iPads, iPhones, and iPod touch players. Quick checks from 9to5 found that GameStop had just started Apple device trade-ins this week, likely in an attempt to keep up its focus on selling used goods over new.
The plans for new devices haven't been confirmed but would support GameStop's own plans to reduce its dependency on physical game sales. While its business revolves around selling used physical game copies, the mobile gaming market is shifting quickly away from traditional gaming handhelds towards smartphone and tablet gaming, led primarily by Apple. After years of virtually unchallenged dominance in the space, Nintendo had to cut the 3DS' price early after both slow sales at the original $250 price as well as dropping sales of the older DSi.
GameStop also has its own fledgling cloud gaming service and may be looking to carry more of the devices that would use the service in its shops. The company has expressed a desire to make its own tablets but may see the iPad and its siblings as necessary to get the market share it wants.
iPhones would be problematic, since GameStop staff might need to be trained to activate cellphone plans unless it limits sales to unlocked models.