So Wal-Mart just started reorganizing the electronics departments of 3,500 of its stores, 2,600 of them Super-Centers. Part of this reorganization includes adding Apple-specific areas where customers can find only Apple products. Quite a few folks think that this is a sign that Wal-Mart is getting ready to start carrying Macs, in addition to i-Paraphernalia.
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One of those folks is Ben Reitzes, an analyst from Barclays Capital. He believes that Wal-Mart is "actively pitching" for the right to sell a broader array of Apple products. Most Macs are far too expensive to do very well at a Wal-Mart, but there are several budget products expected from Apple in the near future, including a potential netbook release.
Adding Wal-Mart to their distribution network would hugely increase Apple's potential Mac sales. Even so, it's far from guaranteed that Apple will agree to sell any of their Mac products through Wal-Mart.
"Apple is very particular and exclusive with who sells its Macs... any 'Mac experiment' with Wal-Mart would likely start very gradually via a pilot program at first -- just like Mac sales started at Best Buy," said Reitzes.
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Best Buy, of course, is the first big box retailer that Apple has let sell their coveted Mac line. If Wal-Mart does hope to get a Mac contract, they'd better pay close attention to how Best Buy courted Apple.