Following a Twitter request from us yesterday, we’re hearing more on the Best Buy front. Best Buy has been an important partner since the original iPad launch and we hope they stay on Apple’s map in the foreseeable future. Bust two publications have reported that the electronics retailer has pulled all iPad 2 stock at some stores due to a misunderstanding between the two companies. This one from TUAW:
He claims that until further notice, the mammoth electronics retailer has had all stock except demo units pulled.
Another tipster, an alleged Best Buy employee, told CrunchGear a similar story:
A reader who works at Best Buy just told us that there’s been a bit of a misunderstanding between the electronics retailer and Apple. Apparently, Best Buy was holding off on selling the iPad 2s it had in stock, telling customers there weren’t any when in fact they had just reached their quota of sales for the day.
Additionally, CrunchGear claims Apple’s operations chief Timothy Cook is directly involved into resolving this situation. This has nothing to do with a recent iPad-bashing advert the electronics retailer ran on their website briefly, CrunchGear writes. I’m filing this one under the very unlikely drawer. First of all, I don’t buy it that Cook, who’s covering for Jobs during his medical leave, would deal with this situation rather than his sales managers. Also, Best Buy has been advertising iPad 2 like crazy and supporting the launch and I don’t see why any temporary misunderstanding would result in them pulling the entire stock.
It just doesn’t make sense from the business perspective. Did any of you visit a Best Buy store recently? Do they have iPad 2s and are they indicating that sales could be temporarily suspended? Talk to us in the comments.
UPDATE [April 8, 2011 4:59 Pacific Time]
A reader claiming to be an employee at “a fairly large” Best Buy in the Southeast sent this in:
I handle pretty much everything Apple related in our sales department including inventory, training, and keeping up with the latest Apple news. Yesterday we received a small shipment of iPad 2’s, and as soon as they were brought out to the sales floor my supervisor told me that we could not sale them. I asked him why and he said that the managers received an internal email saying that we were to hold any available iPad 2’s and were not allowed to sell them. We were also instructed to tell customers that we were out of stock and not to mention anything to customers about the inventory we were holding. No one really had an explanation as to why, so we locked them up in the warehouse until we hear more from upper management.
Another reader writes:
Re. the Best Buy story. Best Buy is in a dispute with Apple over price protection of the remaining stock of iPad 1s. Apple is only providing price protection on units that were delivered 28 days before the iPad 2 launch, which left Best Buy with thousands of units that weren\’t protected. This translates into 10\’s if not 100\’s of thousands of dollars they\’ll lose. This hold back on iPad 2s is a negotiating tactic to get Apple to cave on their price pro decision.
- Apple drops iPad 2 deliveies to 2-3 weeks (9to5mac.com)
- Digitimes: Between 2.4 and 2.6 million iPad 2s shipped during March (9to5mac.com)
- 12,000 iPad 2s sold on eBay in two weeks. Where did they go? (9to5mac.com)
- Did Apple order 30 million LCDs for iPad 2 from AU Optronics at 3-4x higher price? (9to5mac.com)
- Consumer Reports: iPad 2 the best tablet available (9to5mac.com)
- Best Buy pulls iPad-trashing banner for Android tablet from website (9to5mac.com)
- Toys “R” Us Adding iPad 2 to Inventory? (techland.time.com)