Whispers of Target’s decision to stop selling the Amazon Kindle line of devices made their way around the internet last night. The rumors started when a source close to the matter told The Verge that the Minneapolis-based retailer would stop selling the line due to a “conflict of interest,” presumably due to the fact that Target will be opening Apple mini-stores within Target stores in coming months.
This morning, Target responded to a request for comment from The Verge, confirming the news. Starting this spring (i.e., now), Target will stop selling the Kindle tablets, though it will continue to carry some Kindle accessories. In fact, Target’s online website has already taken down its listing for the Kindle devices, leaving store inventories as the only remaining trace of the tablets.
Target will still be carrying the Barnes and Noble Nook series, as indicated by Target’s official response.
“Target continually evaluates its product assortment to deliver the best quality and prices for our guests. Target is phasing out Kindles and Amazon- and Kindle-branded products in the spring of 2012. We will continue to offer our guests a full assortment of ereaders and supporting accessories including the Nook.”
If the move is truly inspired by Target’s partnership with Apple, it lends credence to the fact that Apple views Amazon as a significant threat to Apple’s iPad business. The Kindle Fire is the second best-selling tablet in the world, behind Apple’s iPad. It could also suggest that Apple could have a few tricks up its sleeves yet to be announced, such as the oft-rumored 7-8″ iPad which could be coming as early as this year, if it exists.