Apple and Staples have struck a deal for the United States office supply retail chain to sell both iPads and iPods beginning next month, according to a source with knowledge of the deal. This person says that several versions of both the iPad and iPod will be available via the Staples Online Store in the U.S. for the first time beginning as soon as October 1st. Staples currently sells the iPad via its website in Canada.
The source says that the recent Apple and Staples’ distribution deal for accessories, like Apple’s Magic Mouse, the Apple TV, keyboards, and AirPort wireless routers, was a testbed to see if Apple products fit the taste of Staples’ customer base. The sales of Apple accessories through Staples have been so successful that Apple has agreed to start selling iPads and iPods through the chain…
While Staples is said to be excited about carrying the iPad and iPod online, the company has greater aspirations. The source says that Staples would like to be able to sell the iPad directly from its brick-and-mortar chain by early next year. In order for Apple to agree to this, Staples will need to refer a certain amount of online iPad sales to its customers weekly until the end of 2013. Staples stores will gain in-store kiosks to promote the iPads during the next few months.
The source says that if each Staples store refers one iPad sale per week in October, two per week in November, and five per week in December, Apple will be willing to sell iPads in physical Staples locations. With Apple preparing to launch at least a couple of new iPads in October, perhaps Staples will be able to reach its goal and become a significant iPad sales partner next year.