Mobile marketers curious to see just how ubiquitous the iPad becomes before delving into its advertising potential received a positive sign this morning.
Today, the retail world discovered that Apple Stores and select Best Buy outlets will no longer have an exclusive lock on iPad sales.
By the end of 2010, Wal-Mart will carry Apple’s revolutionary tablet computer. “We anticipate being able to have the iPad later this year,” says Gary Severson, senior VP of entertainment for Wal-Mart’s U.S. stores.
Having sold in excess of one million units since its launch last month, the iPad has been plagued by supply issues – a problem that could be exacerbated by Wal-Mart stocking the tablet nationwide. For now, Apple isn’t commenting on how it will deal with supply shortages. But industry analysts say that bulking up the inventory of iPads will likely prove Apple’s biggest priority this summer.
Estimates maintain that Apple could very well move between four and five million iPads by the end of this year – a remarkable feat, but one that would prove substantially easier to pull off with America’s mega retailer Wal-Mart bringing the tablet closer to the masses than it’s ever been.