NEW YORK (AP) — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will start selling Apple Inc.'s iPad tablet computer in some stores by Friday and in a majority of locations by the height of the holiday shopping season.
The world's largest retailer will sell the iPad at Apple's suggested retail prices, which range from $499 to $829 depending on the model. It will be available online but must be picked up at stores.
By mid-November the iPad will be available in more than 2,300 of its roughly 3,600 stores in the U.S., Wal-Mart said.
Target Corp. began selling the iPad earlier this month. Best Buy Co. has carried the device since it came out in April.
But Wal-Mart is picking up the device faster than it started selling Apple's iPhone. Neither Wal-Mart nor any other retailers sold the first-generation iPhone when it launched in January 2007, when it was available only at Apple stores and online through Apple and AT&T. Wal-Mart's first iPhone was the 3G, which it started selling in December 2008, almost two years later. Best Buy was the first independent retail chain to sell the phone.
Apple sold about 3.3 million iPads in the gadget's first three months on the market. Some analysts have estimated that it sold more than 5 million during the quarter ended in September.
Wal-Mart shares fell 69 cents to $53.92 during morning trading. Apple shares rose 24 cents to $296.60.