updated 01:25 pm EST, Fri November 19, 2010
Calls source of iPads into question
TJ Maxx is "not an authorized reseller" of the iPad, an e-mail from Apple CEO Steve Jobs is quoted as saying. The message comes in response to a person asking why a near $100 price difference exists between TJ Maxx's iPads and those sold by Apple and other official vendors. Some of the authorized iPad resellers in the US include Best Buy, Target, Walmart and Sam's Club.
If authentic, Jobs' comment raises the question of where TJ Maxx's stock is coming from. It's speculated that the units may be leftovers from a falling out between Apple and Costco. Costco's management is believed to be angry at being passed over for an iPad deal, to the extent of wanting to pull iPods and even iTunes gift cards from sale.
Elements backing up the hypothesis include the limited number of TJ outlets with iPads, which in turn have limited quantities. The retailer is also avoiding much advertising of the product, which would make sense if the iPad arrangement is a one-time deal. Units are also being sold quietly by sibling chain Marshalls.