Best Buy And Walmart: Our iPad Sales Are Just Sales

Sometimes a sale is just a sale, even if it's something made by Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). Retailers Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) and Walmart (NYSE:WMT) both say the discounts they're offering on certain iPads are just conventional sales and not an indication that Apple is about to announce a new tablet model, according to a Dow Jones report.

Best Buy has been advertising so-called "third generation" versions of the iPad at 30 percent off, while Walmart on Thursday (April 4) began offering $30 off an iPad Mini model. That led to speculation that the chains were clearing out inventory in advance of a surprise announcement by Apple of a new product.

However, Walmart said its discount was timed for Mother's Day, Father's Day and graduation gifts, and that the sale prices are temporary. Best Buy said it has been selling the discontinued iPad (which Apple officially called "the new iPad" until it was replaced last October by the most recent model) at 30 percent off for the past three weeks. Best Buy continues to sell the iPad Mini, iPad 2 and the most recent model as usual.

The speculation may be a good indication of how nervous Apple investors are. With the company's stock down about 40 percent in the past six months, every rumor of a new iPhone, iPad, iWatch or iTV sparks a frenzy of guesswork among Apple watchers. That even extends to what Apple's competitors are doing—after Samsung said last Thursday (April 4) that it would launch mini-shops inside 500 Best Buy stores this week, it was widely covered as being all about Apple.

But it's business as usual for the chains involved. Walmart has held sales on Apple products before—most recently on iPhones. Best Buy, for its part, is clearing out inventory of a model that Apple stopped making more than five months ago.

At least their timing was good enough to get the sales plenty of attention.

For more:

- See this Dow Jones story

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Samsung's Retail Strategy: Get Into Apple's Face
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