updated 03:52 pm EDT, Thu May 3, 2012
Retail outlets to see more space dedicated to Apple
Apple is likely to increase its footprint outside of its existing Apple Stores, according to analysts at Piper Jaffray. The iPhone and iPad maker is looking to expand on pilot projects that have seen Apple "store-within-a-store" (SWAS) popping up in select Walmart and Target stores. Taken nationally, such a move would tremendously expand Apple's retail reach, as the two big box retailers have significantly more rural distribution than does Apple.
Apple has 250 retail locations in the United States, as well as specialized Apple sections in about 40 percent of Best Buy's US stores. Of recent, though, Apple has begun begun multiple SWAS projects at two Target locations, as well as one within Walmart. The pilot is expected to expand to 23 more Target stores before the end of the year,
Apple is already well known for a continuing effort to expand its retail reach to new areas, but the potential inherent in partnerships with Walmart and Target -- which operate some 3,800 and 1,700 US, respectively -- far outstrips what Apple could likely accomplish on its own. While iPads and iPhones are a near certainty for the mini-stores, details are fuzzier when it comes to Apple's MacBook line, which Target does not currently sell. [via Apple Insider]