Sort of like the old “chicken in every pot” political slogan, electronics retailer, Best Buy, is rumored to be putting an iPad in the hands of every retail employee. A boatload of iPads for Best Buy, please.
Presumably, Best Buy knows what it’s doing. For a store that wants to look the part of a cutting-edge shop, what can they hold in their hands to make them look the part? Nothing but the iPad, the most easily recognizable tablet, in name and appearance. In the estimation of Best Buy, iPad must have a lot more going for it than looks. A business doesn’t sink several fortunes into a product unless they’re confident it will deliver. It’ll take a while to learn whether the deal pays off for Best Buy, but go ahead and chalk one up for iPad.
Apple gains, iPad wins
Without question, from a financial point of view, Apple is, duh, winning! Sell 180,000 of anything and your bottom line looks good. But, the real winner in the deal, which may take a while to complete depending upon consumer demand for the new iPad, is, in fact, the iPad.
If you’ve seen any of my earlier posts, you’ll know that I don’t think the tablet race is as close as some others believe. The quality alone of any iPad version is enough to keep it ahead of the competitors, but customer support, application availability and app development solidify top positioning.
Again, 180K iPads spread across 1,000 high traffic physical locations does a few things. It exponentially increases recognition, both physical and name. It also causes the consumer, either consciously or subconsciously, to believe the iPad is the clear choice in tablets. On a daily basis, consumers will get a hands on demonstration of the reliability, speed, flexibility, and potential of the iPad. Businesses looking for a strong justification to buy, parents looking for an educational tool, and folks new to tablet computing will all see what they need to see.
The Best Buy deal, which is just past the rumor stage and, like any business deal, could fall through, is a no-lose for Apple.
Image courtesy Paul Swansen.