Apple Inc.'s (AAPL) iPad will be available at more than 2,000 Verizon Wireless stores starting Oct. 28, the companies said, making it the latest outlet to offer the hot-selling product.
The announcement follows renewed reports last week that Apple is readying a version of its iPhone for Verizon Wireless, jointly owned by Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) and Vodafone Group PLC (VOD, VOD.LN). The wireless service provider has made strides of late in catching up with high-tech consumer gadgets, increasing its smartphone offerings with a steady rollout of Droid phones running Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android software.
Verizon will offer iPad Wi-Fi models on a standalone basis as well as a monthly data plan. It's also bundling the iPad with its mobile broadband device. It is currently only available with wireless service with AT&T Inc. (T) in the U.S.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) said earlier this week it will start selling the iPad Friday at hundreds of stores throughout the U.S. It landed the tablet computer later than two of its largest retail rivals--Best Buy Co. (BBY) has been selling the iPad since its launch in April and Target Corp. (TGT) started offering it earlier this month.
Shares of Verizon Communications were up 1.2% at $32.60 in recent premarket trading while Apple advanced 0.7% to $302.20 and Vodafone's American depositary shares increased 1.7% to $26.68.