updated 05:05 pm EDT, Thu March 15, 2012
Will beat Apple launches by several hours
In an unexpected move, Walmart has announced that it will start selling iPads at 12:01AM on Friday. The retailer is promising only a "limited supply" of tablets; midnight launches are also being restricted to 24-hour locations. As with most retailers selling the new hardware, prices will start at $499 for a 16GB Wi-Fi model.
Apple itself is only launching the product at 8AM, which may give Walmart a brief advantage before it runs out of stock. It's unknown if Apple has officially sanctioned Walmart's plans, or if the retailer is simply acting on its own. In the UK, though, PC World may also be aiming for a 12:01AM launch, if just at a single outlet in London. Some other PC Worlds could undercut Apple's timing by an hour.