Walmart may offer Apple’s iPad later this year as part of newly-expanded electronics sales. While the move could boost sales of the tablet device, talk of the world’s largest retailer spotlighting the iPad comes amid concerns Apple already is having trouble staying ahead of demand.
“We anticipate being able to have the iPad later this year,” Gary Stevenson, Walmart U.S. vice-president of entertainment, told Bloomberg. Although retail giant Best Buy already offers the device, Apple officially has yet to announce any retail partners for the iPad.
Walmart hopes to emulate Best Buy by expanding its electronics sales later today. Electronics already comprise 13 percent of Walmart revenue, according to sales numbers.
Already, the iPad has outsold the iPhone’s debut. Apple announced recently it sold more than 1 million iPads since the device’s introduction. Reports suggest iPads are flying off shelves as soon as they arrive. Bloomberg found 13 cities had depleted iPad inventory with additional reports of retailers adding customer names to a “Notify Me” list. “Apple is selling every iPad it can build,” Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said.
Such supply problems now are appearing in Europe as Apple begins taking the first international orders for the iPad. “Demand for iPad has been off the charts,” a UK Apple spokesperson said. The tight supply is illustrated by recent UK and European iPad orders having to wait until June 7 before they ship.