Best Buy Refutes Report it was Blacklisted by Apple over iPad 2 Sales Strategy

By Beecher Tuttle April 08, 2011

Best Buy on Friday attempted to squash a rather interesting rumor that it was having a bit of a love quarrel with Apple over the retail giant's handling of iPad 2 sales.

Citing an alleged Best Buy employee, Crunch Gear reported on Thursday that stores were only selling enough second-generation iPads to fill their internal daily quota. Once reaching that number, Best Buy employees reportedly told customers that they had sold out of the device even though they still had some stock remaining.

The rather odd-sounding sales strategy apparently upset Apple to the point that it instructed Best Buy to refrain from selling the tablet, according to the source. The tipster even said that Apple COO Tim Cook got personally involved in the apparent snafu. This rumor was strengthened by additional reports by The Unofficial Apple Weblog and 9to5Mac, which both quoted Best Buy employees who said that Apple ordered a freeze on iPad 2 sales.

An alleged Best Buy worker told 9to5Mac that "managers received an internal email saying that we were to hold any available iPad 2′s and were not allowed to sell them."

Later in the day, yet another rumor popped up that it was actually Best Buy – not Apple – that decided to refrain from selling iPad 2 devices due to concerns with inadequate price protections.

The rumor mill came to a close earlier today when Best Buy spokeswoman Paula Baldwin addressed the speculation, noting that the retail company is still receiving their shipments and is holding some iPad 2 devices for an upcoming promotion.

“Best Buy continues to receive iPad 2 inventory from Apple on a regular basis,” Baldwin said in the statement. “Our stores have been asked to temporarily hold non-reserved iPad 2 inventory for an upcoming promotion. This is a customary practice for us when there are supply constraints.  Best Buy enjoys a great partnership with Apple, and we’re delighted by customer response to iPad 2.”

While Baldwin's statement isn't concrete proof that a dust-up didn't occur, it would seem odd for Best Buy to employ such a strange sales strategy, especially considering the recent successful that it has had with Apple. 

Beecher Tuttle is a TechZone360 contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Janice McDuffee

TechZone360 Contributor

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