In an interview with Bloomberg, a Walmart executive said that the mega-store-chain expects to sell iPads at some point in 2010.
Right now the iPad is only available at Apple Stores, at apple.com and at Best Buys (at which they are almost always sold out). Like the iPod Touch, the iPad is not a very complicated device, so service is less of an issue than it is with laptops or other tech hardware (i.e. general retail stores don’t have to have computer specialists on staff). And like the iPod Touch, iPads will really start flying off the shelves when they are, well, on the the shelves.
Our only question is whether Apple will let the price drop on at least some of the iPad models if/when Walmart offers the device. With the least expensive model currently at US$499, price could be an issue for frugal-minded Walmart shoppers.
One major advantage to getting the iPad into Walmart stores is it gives Apple another international distribution retail channel after their Apple Stores (which of course aren’t nearly in as many places worldwide as Walmart). At any rate, we fully expect that Apple will not stop at these three chains and that by early 2011 the iPad will be available from many outlets.