Currys and PC World to sell the iPad exclusively in DSGi deal?
We receive a lot of rumours and half-truths through the email. Some of them are utter nonsense from the first word, others less so.
Here's an anonymous email we received a couple of days ago, and despite our best attempts to verify it, we can't. There may a good reason for that, but at the same time it makes sense considering the US launch of Apple's iPad. We're going to share it anyway, since it does no harm for you know about it:
Thought you might like to know that DSGi will have the exclusive on the iPad for 60 days after launch. No official dates as yet though.
This was told to me by a senior store manager, so a reliable source. I also know that the night before launch there will be an out-of-hours merchandising operation in place to fit the demo stock into the specific stores.
It won't be all stores, but rather the ones that have Apple store in store or in-line solutions (mainly the bigger, refurbished stores). The intention is that store staff will have training on them before the public get them and that these stores will have stock in place to take away.
In the US where the iPad is already available, it can be purchased from either Apple or Best Buy, so it makes sense for Apple to seek a UK retailer to partner with.
Both the WiFi and 3G iPads are expected to go on sale in the UK at the end of May, and initially we couldn't imagine any mobile provider agreeing to supply data services and not the product. That said, AT&T, the mobile service provider for the iPad 3G data services in the US, isn't selling any version of the device, despite it being available on pre-order from Apple. In fact, AT&T have nothing to do with the sale of their own data tariffs - a customer buys a 3G data bundles through their iPad, not AT&T. Apple seem keen for the iPad to be considered a computer rather than a larger, grown-up mobile device, which may be why mobile retailers won't be asked to sell the iPad.
We asked DSGi what their current plans to stock the iPad upon its release at the end of May, and whether a deal had already been struck with Apple to sell the iPad yet. A spokesperson told us:
"You'll have to ask Apple about their launch plans. All we can tell you is we're very excited about this product and we're confident customers will love it!"
Which didn't really answer our question. Listen, if it does turn out to be true, you read it here first. If it doesn't, nobody died.