Apple may not have blacklisted Best Buy from selling the iPad 2, contrary to some rumors swirling late this week.
Those rumors originated with an April 7 report on the blog CrunchGear, which suggested that unspecified Best Buy stores were keeping stocks of the iPad 2 in reserve, while representatives told customers the blockbuster tablet had sold out. CrunchGear’s source was “a reader who works at Best Buy,” who also said that Apple responded by barring the retailer from selling the iPad.
That story caused an understandable furor on the Internet. Boy Genius Report followed up, with anonymous sources telling the blog that Best Buy managers had indeed put the kibosh on selling any iPads not already preordered. Then Best Buy itself leapt into the action, issuing a statement that passed off any iPad 2 disruptions as totally ordinary, yep, just business as usual, nothing to see here:
“Best Buy continues to receive iPad 2 inventory from Apple on a regular basis,” read an April 8 statement from Best Buy e-mailed to Boy Genius Report. “As we’ve said previously, we are fulfilling customer reservations first. Our stores have been asked to temporarily hold on-reserved iPad 2 inventory for an upcoming promotion.”
That statement also rushed to portray Best Buy’s relationship with Apple as totally sound.
“This is a customary practice for us when there are supply constraints,” continued the statement to Boy Genius Report. “Best Buy enjoys a great partnership with Apple, and we’re delighted by customer response to iPad 2.”
Meanwhile, CrunchGear’s original source for its story supposedly received an update from none other than Apple COO Tim Cook.
“My understanding is most of their stores sold all of their initial supply on the first night of the launch,” he supposedly wrote in an email to the source, “and the balance were out [sic] by the following day. I am not aware of any units being held.”
Although Apple has so far declined to release official sales figures, all indications are that the iPad 2 is continuing the bestselling run of its predecessor. On April 5, Consumer Reports reported that the 32GB iPad 2 with WiFi and 3G ranked highest out of 10 tablets the publication tested. “So far, Apple is leading the tablet market in both quality and price, which is unusual for a company whose products are usually premium priced,” Paul Reynolds, Consumers Reports’ electronics editor, wrote in a statement. “However, it’s likely we’ll see more competitive pricing in tablets as other models begin to hit the market.”