The wait is over.

For months, consumers have been told that Apple's popular tablet device would be stocked on Wal-Mart shelves sooner rather than later. But without a clear initial time frame, many assumed that the holiday shopping season would be in full bloom before the iPad would arrive at the nation's largest retailer. But it now appears that the reports published here last week by MMi's Wiley John Wright are true and that the iPad is headed for Wal-Mart this week.

On Monday evening Wal-Mart announced that hundreds of its stores will begin carrying all six iPad models this Friday, October 15th. All 2,300 Wal-Marts, however, will not stock and sell the iPad until November. In anticipation of the grand roll out this weekend, many shoppers have already reported seeing the iPad placed next to other Apple devices carried by Wal-Mart indicating the big day is just around the corner.

Since its release earlier this year, the iPad has slowly become somewhat of a retail darling, with Walmart, Target, and Best Buy helping to promote and move units of the tablet, even in the face of virtually no competition within the tablet marketplace - a situation, however, that will soon be a thing of the past.

Wall Street Journal