AT&T to Sell iPads, Push Out Netbooks?
According to unconfirmed reports from inside AT&T, the carrier is planning to sell Apple iPads directly in its corporate retail stores - and will also give the new device significant floor space. A tipster from AT&T told Boy Genius Report
that most stores will take out one or more of their existing netbook demo spaces in favor of what is being called a "pretty substantial" iPad floor display.
“We’re told the general plan is to convert one or two existing netbook display sections in each corporate AT&T location into a pretty substantial iPad display area,” said Boy Genius Report's source, which was only identified as being “down South.” Apple has not yet made any announcement of how the iPad will be retailed, but it's assumed that the device will be sold by AT&T directly as well as by Apple, and possibly in retail consumer electronics stores that currently have Apple Retail areas, such as Best Buy.
Though AT&T has been aggressively promoting netbooks with 3G cards - prominently marketing "mini-laptops"
from Dell, Acer, Lenovo and HP - it could be looking ahead to fulfilling customer excitement about the forthcoming handheld device with 3G data plans. Additionally, the carrier has historically given Apple what it's asked for in terms of display space when it releases a new product. Reportedly, the carrier rescheduled the original BlackBerry Bold's release date
to avoid conflicting with the iPhone 3GS launch.