Apple is increasingly expanding the availability of its iPad to retailers and distributors as the competition in the tablet space is heating up.
Apple Insider said the Tech Data Corporation distributor was recently allowed to offer all six versions of the Apple iPad recently. Previously, Apple was very wary about which companies could sell the tablet and it would even meddle in those retailers’ marketing.
Part of this is Apple wanting to control the image but I’m sure that another part was that the company just couldn’t make enough iPad units to fulfill the desire of retailers. Those production issues seemed to have been overcome now, so look for the Apple iPad to be offered in more brick-and-mortar stores and online establishments.
The Apple iPad is already on sale at Best Buy and the retailing giant said it will soon sell that device in all of its U.S. stores. Rumors are also swirling that the tablet will land at Target and Wal-Mart soon.
The move comes as we are about to see a deluge of tablets gunning for the Apple iPad. The Samsung Galaxy Tab with Android will soon go on sale for all four major U.S. carriers and I wouldn’t be surprised if that device popped up at places like Best Buy too.
We could also see the introduction of the Research In Motion BlackBerry Tablet, or BlackPad, as early as next week. This isn’t expected to have a 3G connection as it will use the BlackBerry for data, but that makes you wonder where it will be sold. Will carriers devote much space to the BlackPad if those companies can’t get you to sign a new data contract?
Dell is also working on a 7-inch Android tablet and we should also see this type of device from HP, Acer and maybe even HTC soon. It’s going to be a fun battle to watch.