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Target rumored to sell Apple's iPad in stores starting Oct. 3

New evidence suggests that Target's U.S. stores may start offering the iPad on October 3, expanding the retail presence of Apple's touchscreen tablet.

A source with the retailer provided evidence to Engadget that Target is set to launch an unnamed product on Oct 3. The product will be available at six price points — the same prices of the iPad, ranging from $499 for the 16GB Wi-Fi-only model, to $829 for the 64GB model with 3G.

In addition, pictures from a Target PDA show that the new device set to go on sale in October will be located in the "Digital Audio" department. That's the same department that sells Apple's line of iPods, as well as the Amazon Kindle e-reader.

"Smoking gun?" author Donald Melanson wrote. "Not exactly, but it's certainly enough to get us to keep our eye on this one."

Earlier this year, before the iPad launched, Apple executives indicated that the iPad would only be available at a limited number of locations with assisted sales, including premium resellers and electronics retailer Best Buy. Apple's chief operating officer, Tim Cook, said that brick-and-mortar availability of the iPad would expand "over time."

Earlier this year, Walmart, the largest retailer in the U.S., also indicated it hopes to sell the iPad by the end of 2010.

But expansion of the iPad to new retail locations did not occur initially, as strong sales left stores with limited inventory. However, recently, iPad shipping times on Apple's website improved to 24 hours, suggesting that production problems that contributed to limited availability have been resolved.