iPad WiFi only 16GB models are being sold for just $399 ($100 off normal price) at certain TJ Maxx and Marshalls outlets. There are numerous reports on this around the tech web over the last 24 hours – including these at Engadget, 9to5Mac, and MacRumors.
What nobody seems to have a great answer for so far is why this is happening. Why these two outlets are able to sell this iPad model at such a huge discount to the price from Apple themselves (it’s even $50 cheaper than Apple refurb models) and other Apple approved retailers like Best Buy, Target, and others. The two guesses I’ve seen are that this move is an effort to move more units due to ‘over-production’ after recent ramp-ups to cope with demand; or that this is a sign that Apple wants to further corner the tablet market before a rash of competitor products arrives early next year. That second one seems far-fetched to me. If that was the strategy then why not slash the price at Apple stores, online, and at all the other big retailers in the US?
The discounted deals are not available at all TJ Maxx and Marshalls stores – they’re said to be at certain unadvertised locations and in limited quantities – so if you’re trying to get one at this new low price, you’ll need to call around to check on whether outlets near you have these around.