iPads are now available on Amazon.com

Oct 4, 2010
Tech

With little fanfare, Amazon.com (AMZN) now has the green light from Apple (AAPL) to sell the iPad. The giant retailer joins Target and Best Buy among the slowly growing ranks of iPad retailers. Those stores only got the ability to sell the iPad in the last few weeks, and both have made a big to-do […]

With little fanfare, Amazon.com (AMZN) now has the green light from Apple (AAPL) to sell the iPad.

The giant retailer joins Target and Best Buy among the slowly growing ranks of iPad retailers. Those stores only got the ability to sell the iPad in the last few weeks, and both have made a big to-do about it, with in-store displays and large features in their weekly sale ads.

Amazon, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to be making that big a deal of the iPad, even though it appears as though the company’s units are moving fast. Amazon still features its $189 Kindle e-reader on its home page, with the iPad only showing up if you’ve made a similar search recently.

The stores selling iPads through Amazon only seem to have a few left in stock as of this writing – less than five for every version except the 64-gig iPad – but benefits like Amazon Prime still mean you can snag your iPad with free shipping.

Speaking of free shipping, Amazon is the only online retailer you can buy an iPad from aside from Apple. Best Buy and Target don’t ship their iPads, so you can only get them in-store.This is an interesting move on Amazon’s part and shows the strength of iPad sales. Amazon manufacturers the Kindle and has been a fierce competitor with the iPad, which reportedly has been snacking on the e-reader market since it was released. Now Amazon is straddling the fence and presumably making some money from both camps – selling the iPad, but quietly, while still advertising the Kindle.

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From a sales standpoint, selling Apple’s tablet makes sense. A Wall Street analyst recently projected the iPad outstripping even the Mac in sales in the next five years, so it would be a bad play on Amazon’s part not to sell one of the hottest items in computing right now.

But the fanfare of the iPad coming to the Amazon may be the first notes in the Kindle’s funeral dirge. It’ll be interesting to see what, if any, stops Amazon pulls out to keep its e-reader going in the face of the iPad juggernaut – or if customers will even notice and stop ordering either device in favor of the other.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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