updated 12:30 am EST, Tue February 7, 2012
Big box discounter already carries iOS devices
Sam's Club, a discount chain owned by Wal-Mart, is said to be in early talks with Apple on expanding the two firms' existing relationship, which may include developing Store-Within-A-Store (SWOS) concepts similar to what Apple is already doing with Best Buy and Target. Sam's Club is said to be just one of a number of retailers Apple is exploring expanding the concept to, and may see the retailer carrying Macs as well as its current iOS offerings.
The report from 9to5Mac says that an alternate scenario would have Sam's simply adding Macs to the present displays rather that sectioning off a purpose-built section of the warehouse store with a custom Apple Store look. It's unknown if the talks with Sam's club extend to the parent company of Wal-Mart, which likewise offers iDevices but has the floorspace and foot traffic to merit an Apple SWOS if the company so chose.
SWOS displays in Best Buy stores often consist of a single large table similar to those found in Apple retail stores, with secured products out on display for users to try out. Though considerably less elegant than the full Apple retail experience, the displays help shoppers who are not near an Apple retail store or have not been tempted to try one see Macs in mainstream electronics stores alongside Windows PCs and other gear, which may help with consumer acceptance.
While Macs are enjoying all-time high sales figures, the numbers are dwarfed by comparison to the iPad (which sells three times as many units per quarter) and iPhones (which well about six to eight times as many units per quarter). The expansion of the SWOS concept may help Apple boost numbers and mainstream acceptance of Macs generally, though it is already one of the leading producer of portables, and the top producer if iPad sales are included. [via 9to5Mac]