Walmart to start carrying iPads this week

— 2:51 PM on October 12, 2010

If Steve Jobs hasn't already set up a Scrooge McDuck-style swimming pool full of money in his basement, I'm sure he will soon enough. As the Associated Press reports, Apple has struck a distribution deal that will see its iPads start popping up in Walmart stores by Friday... and make their way into "a majority of [Walmart] locations by the height of the holiday shopping season."

Specifically, the AP says 2,300 of Walmart's 3,600 stores nationwide will stock iPads by the middle of next month. That's a good two thirds of all U.S. locations. Considering the iPad is already available at Best Buy and Target, I'm sure Jobs will be able to go with an Olympic-sized pool to store his fresh stacks of $100 bills.

I'll be the first to admit any reasonable geek would probably think twice about plunking down $499 at their local superstore for a king-sized iPod touch. However, reasonable geeks are in the minority. Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn recently revealed that the iPad has cannibalized notebook sales by "as much as 50%" at his stores. iSuppli analyst Riddhi Patel attributed that shift to a desire consumers have to try "something totally new"—instead of, you know, buying a slightly faster notebook or a slightly bigger TV. And happily for Jobs, Apple won't have serious competition in the booming slate business until next year.

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