The other day rumors began flying that Wal-Mart would be getting the iPad soon. We reported the rumor based on a story in MacRumors. Today both MacRumors and TUAW reported photos provided by readers of iPads in the wild at Wal-Mart which seem to turn Rumor into News. Apparently at least one Wal-Mart store in Denver has a few iPads in stock and another in Searcy, AR does too. At this point no other reports seem to have filtered in, but more will probably surface over the coming week. So far there seems to have been no official announcement of Wal-Mart beyond their statement earlier this year stating their intention of selling the iPad by the end of 2010. Unlike Target which featured the iPad in their weekly ad the week of the iPad's release, Wal-Mart has not included such an ad; at least not one anyone has reported. It's also not on their website. This may be because the iPad is only seeing a limited release in Wal-Mart stores currently and more of a splash is planned later this month or in November.
The internal memo leaked last week and reported by MacRumors seemed to indicate only about 1,000 stores would be getting the iPad to begin with, or less than 1/4th of all their outlets. Plans seem to include adding another 800 stores in November. The obvious plan is to get as many stores stocked with a few iPads prior to the Thanksgiving weekend. It's possible Wal-Mart may make the iPad one of their marquee items for BlackFriday; but a reduced price should not be expected.
For our non-American readers, it should be pointed out that Wal-Mart has more stores across the United States than any other big box store. Known as a discount chain, they sell more DVDs, CDs, toothpaste, dog food, bullets, guns and most other sellable items than any other retailer in the States. They are also international, although they haven't invaded all nations - yet. [ad#468x60 Banner]