Apple iPad hold-out? In a couple of weeks, you won't have to brave the dense lines at Apple stores – you'll be able to scoop up one of those shiny little tablets over at the local Target. That's the word today from the mega-retailer, which today announced it would begin selling Apple iPad computers at more than 1,743 stores nationwide.
The iPad, of course, is already available at BestBuy – as are many Apple devices – but according to at least one analyst, Target, traditionally a favorite stop for budget-conscious shoppers, is an incredibly savvy choice.
"We see the iPad as the Mac for the masses," Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster told the AFP today. "The iPad represents a meaningful product category for Apple as a secondary computing device for those who already have a primary computer, a primary device for those who could not previously afford a Mac, and the first Apple product that will be a success in the enterprise."
The price points will remain the same, although Target says it will eventually offer discounts to Target credit card holders.
Reviews for the Apple iPad, which launched in April, were generally favorable – although critics point out that the iPad was no substitute for a real computer.
"Should I get the iPad or not? Well, I thought I made it clear that it depends on your mindset," wrote David Pogue, the lead tech reviewer at the Times. "It’s a brilliant machine, a category-creator, a joy to use. I think it will be a big hit. The apps coming out for it represent some of the most exciting software ideas in a long time. If you need a laptop, though, get a laptop."
Pogue was right: Less than a month after the device was released, Apple announced it had sold 1 million units.
As Apple CEO Steve Jobs noted at the time, his company had sold a million iPads in less than half the time to took to sell the same amount of iPhones (Job was referring to the original iPhone, not the iPhone 3G or iPhone 4.) By expanding sales to a major retailer such as Target, Apple is looking to ramp up interest in the iPad all over again.