updated 01:50 pm EDT, Mon March 28, 2011
iPad 2 to hit Radio Shack on Tuesday
An internal corporate memo has revealed that Apple is already planning to expand the iPad 2's US retail spread with a deal for Radio Shack. About 500 stores US-wide are due to start carring the tablets Tuesday, March 29. AppleInsider's source lacked unit numbers but said it was a last-minute plan that had only been agreed upon in the "last few days."
The company had a much wider launch with the iPad 2 than in the past, covering not just Apple and Best Buy like last year but including AT&T, Verizon, Target, and Walmart. An expansion so soon is still unusual as Apple often waits until supply shortages have settled down or until closer to the holidays, when the expansion has its maximum effect.
Radio Shack was one of the last to get full iOS support from Apple and only got the iPhone in March 2010, but it has made up for this by being unusually aggressive with price cuts. It has been offering substantial trade-ins and immediate discounts that often haven't shown at any other retailer.
For Apple, retail expansion is important both to drive sales as well as to prevent Android tablets like the Motorola Xoom from having 'safe' zones. The Xoom just Sunday reached Best Buy and other retailers in Wi-Fi form.