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Monday, October 11, 2010, 09:40 pm PT (12:40 am ET)

Apple's iPad coming to Walmart stores on Oct. 15

Walmart has announced that hundreds of its stores will begin selling the iPad on Friday, Oct. 15, eventually expanding to 2,300 stores in November.

Walmart revealed the news Monday evening, confirming last week's rumor that the Bentonville, Arkansas mega-retailer would start carrying Apple's iPad this week. Electronista was first to report, noting that the company's stores will offer all 6 models of the tablet device.

The iPad, which analysts claim has had the fastest adoption rate of any consumer electronics device, can be ordered online from Walmart, but must be picked up in store. Retail stores will feature the device as part of a "separate showcase of Apple hardware," the report noted.

According to TUAW, some Walmart stores have already placed the iPad on the shelves alongside Apple's iPods in advance of Friday's official launch.

With the iPad seen as a must-have item for consumers this holiday season, retailers are hoping to cash in on Apple's success. The increased visibility and availability from retailers such as Walmart, Target, and Best Buy, should help drive sales of the tablet even higher. Target began selling the iPad on Oct. 3. Best Buy expanded iPad sales to all of its U.S. stores on Sept. 26.