Saturday, March 27, 2010, 11:00 am PT (02:00 pm ET)
Best Buy to offer iPads on launch day, hold April 11th promo?It's no secret that Best Buy is on a short list of select Apple partners who'll be able to offer the iPad to its customers, but new — albeit unconfirmed — evidence suggests that the big box retailer may stock the device alongside Apple stores on April 3rd before launching a broader promotion a week later.
A purported screenshot of Best Buy's internal "Apple iPad Launch Playbook" suggests that upwards of 675 of its stores will have stock of the 9.7-inch touch-screen device on Saturday, April 3rd — the day Apple has designated as the official iPad launch day. It adds that a week later, Best Buy's nationwide circular will feature the device on its cover.
"Apple is launching their new iPad on Saturday, April 3 and Best Buy stores with Apple Shops (about 675 stores) will begin selling them on this day," the memo reads. "A future solution for all Best Buy stores is being discussed. At the time of launch, these products won't be sold on BestBuy.com. At the time of launch, the iPad will only be sold at Apple retail stores, Apple.com and Best Buy Apple Shops."
"On April 11, the iPad will be on the front cover of the ad for all stores even though all stores won't be carrying the units at launch," the memo continues. "Stores that don't carry the iPad at launch should direct customers to the nearest Best Buy Apple Shop."
The memo corroborates an email response from Apple chief executive Steve Jobs on the matter that was obtained by AppleInsider last week. A customer had asked whether the iPad would be available for purchase with Apple's authorized resellers. To this, Jobs replied: "Initially at Apple Retail and online stores and Best Buy."
This omits AT&T retail stores, which are likely to get the iPad treatment when 3G-enabled versions of the device begin shipping in about 30 days. Earlier comments from Apple chief operating officer Tim Cook were also consistent with this approach, with the executive only specifying Best Buy and 'other Apple assisted locations' when asked where the device would be available for sale outside the company's direct channels.
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