Target to Start Carrying Apple's IPad

Device Gives Retailer Leg Up on Walmart

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MINNEAPOLIS ( -- Now that it'll be available at the No. 2 retailer in America, Apple's iPad is one step closer to becoming the Tickle Me Elmo of 2010.

With the deal, the iPad will soon be available in more than 1,000 stores across the country. Kathee Tesija, exec VP-merchandising, told reporters today the retailer would begin carrying the iPad on Oct. 3 in its 1,743 stores in 49 states, but not on its website, Target .com. The iPad is already available at Apple stores and Best Buy.

IPad will be a focal point in the electronics section at Target stores. There will be an iPad-dedicated display that will include all iPad accessories and a large image of the device, while the iPad itself will be merchandised within the aisle along with other Apple products, such as iPods.

The announcement gives the discount retailer a leg up on rival Walmart, which is the world's largest retailer and does not yet carry the device.

So far, Apple has sold more than 3 million iPads. In September, Kaufman Bros. analyst Shaw Wu lifted his iPad sales forecast for the quarter to 5.7 million from 3.6 million.

"The iPad is shaping up to be the 'Tickle Me Elmo' of the 2010 holiday season, with product demand expected to vastly exceed available supply," Rhoda Alexander, director of monitor research for iSuppli, said in July.

Target also announced it will be launching an iPad app in time for holiday shopping. It will also support a mobile retail points program with ShopKick in 240 stores in November.

The iPad announcement came during a Target Media Day in Minneapolis at the new Target Field, the Minnesota Twins' home field. The retailer plans to sell six models of the iPad, starting at $499.

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Contributing: Kunur Patel

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