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Monday, March 07, 2011, 05:30 pm PT (08:30 pm ET)

Best Buy denies rumors of iPad handout to all staff, considers multiple devices

A Best Buy spokesperson has gone on record denying a recent rumor that the electronics retailer plans to distribute iPads to all of its sales staff, while admitting that it is still deciding which handheld devices to use in a limited capacity on the sales floor.

After a report claimed last week that big box retailer Best Buy was planning to give iPads to each of its on-floor sales associates in its U.S. stores, a Best Buy spokesperson denied the claim, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The electronics giant did, however, confirm that it was considering purchasing a limited supply of devices to aid retail staff, though it has yet to decide which devices to use.

“While we plan in the future to supply each store a limited number of handheld devices to use as sales tools when assisting the consumer, we have not many (sic) any final decision at this time,” the Best Buy representative said.

Best Buy's "Connected Store" pilot program is currently testing a range of tablets, including the Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab and the Motorola Xoom. The program attempts to emulate the Apple Store experience by providing interested customers with hands-on time with the devices.

Additional comments from the retailer appeared to suggest that the company is looking into a point-of-sale custom application for use in its retail stores. “We continue to evaluate all handheld devices and platforms, looing (sic) for the best solution to aid our employees on the floor,” the representative said.

With 1,100 stores in the U.S., Best Buy holds the title of the nation's largest electronics retailer.

In recent years, Apple and Best Buy have worked closely together to offer Apple's products in the retailer's stores. Just as with the original iPad, Best Buy will carry the iPad 2 at launch.

A recent rumor claimed that Apple could advance its partnership with the retailer by bringing its Genius Bar technical support service counters to Best Buy stores later this year, in hopes of selling more Macs.