|Wednesday's blockbuster announcement from Apple has business owner asking: Where can I get the best deal on an iPad 3?|
If you can squint past the horrific retail experience on the Web and in-store, Wal-Mart as a company has taken special interest in Apple. While I don't think retail science will be forever changed by how Wal-Mart sells iPods, iPhones and iPads, chances are it will have those Apple products on hand to sell.
We all know Steve Jobs' 11th Commandment: Thou shalt not discount Apple products. Anytime, anywhere, the price is the price. And if you don't like it, go buy a Windows phone. But Wal-Mart is Wal-Mart. It just can't keep itself from nudging in the discounting. Case in point: When shopping for, say, an iPad 2, Wal-Mart tosses in a choice of two packages of Apple gear -- usually such things as car chargers, cases, sync cables and nice drawing pads. Not exactly earth-shattering stuff. But in a work environment, car chargers add up. And if you are buying several items, they really add up. 3. Bazillions of touch points.
We all love the Apple Store. It's fabulous, fun. To show what a nerd I am, I even find it romantic. Try date night at the Steve Store. You'll see. It works. But having to drive 53 miles there and back doesn't. And Wal-Mart has the fabulous advantage of putting an iPad within easy reach. Will you get Genius Bar service at Wal-Mart? Oh no. But sadly, you'll be surprised at what our collapsing economy has done to the quality of Wal-Mart workers, particularly its geeks. (They get a nice discount, and what else are they going to do? It works out well for shoppers, though, since they really know the products.) Plus, Wal-Mart does returns like a real live retailer and not some snobby designer shop. There is none of that Apple 'tude about bringing stuff back. Keep in mind, you won't get anything fixed at Wal-Mart. But if you are looking for a replacement on a bricked item, The W is surprisingly effective.