Best Buy allegedly ‘blacklisted’ by Apple over iPad 2 sales (Update)

best buys ceo claims the ipad has killed 50 percent of laptop sales buy storeAn odd rumor out this morning indicates a rift between Apple and Best Buy over the electronics retailer’s handling of iPad 2 sales. According to an unnamed CrunchGear reader who reportedly works for Best Buy, the store was only selling enough iPad 2 units to meet its daily quota. Workers would tell potential buyers that they were out of the second-generation Apple tablet, and to come back later, even though they still had some in stock.

This sales strategy was apparently not what Apple instructed. So Cupertino has sent down direct orders to no longer sell iPad 2s through Best Buy, at least until the quarrel is settled.

The Best Buy informant goes on to say that the two companies are in negotiations, presumably to make sure Best Buy stops withholding iPad 2s from customers. The Apple representative at the store where CrunchGear‘s source works has apparently confirmed the negotiations, which he said extends all the way up the Apple ladder to chief operating officer Tim Cook.

As unlikely as this whole scenario may seem, allegations of a dispute between Apple and Best Buy — one that has prevented Best Buy from continuing to sell iPad 2s — have been corroborated by a number of other similar sources (i.e. other Best Buy employees).

One Best Buy employed reader tells 9to5Mac that managers have prevented any further sales of newly received iPad 2 units, but have not given employees a reason for having to stow away the tablets. Another reader says the spat is “over price protection of the remaining stock of iPad 1s,” and that it is actually Best Buy — not Apple — who has imposed the hold on iPad 2 sales.

“Apple is only providing price protection on units that were delivered 28 days before the iPad 2 launch, which left Best Buy with thousands of units that weren’t protected,” the reader wrote to 9to5Mac. “This translates into 10’s if not 100’s of thousands of dollars they’ll lose. This hold back on iPad 2s is a negotiating tactic to get Apple to cave on their price pro decision.”

Based on all the above information, it seems that a rift of some sort between Best Buy and Apple is underway. Which side upset the other remains to be seen. It does, however, seem unlikely that Best Buy would have an abundance of highly-sought-after iPad 2 units laying around, and simply choose not to sell them to paying customers — or that Apple would combat this peculiar tactic by preventing Best Buy from selling more iPad 2s to customers altogether.

Neither Apple nor Best Buy have so far commented on the status of their relationship, so file this one in your “grain of salt” folder until further notice.

UPDATE: Not long after this article went live did Apple’s Tim Cook send CrunchGear‘s “original tipster” an email debunking basically every part of the supposed Best Buy-Apple feud. It reads:


My understanding is most of their stores sold all of their initial supply on the first night of the launch and the balance were out by the following day. I am not aware of any units being held.


While this doesn’t totally debunk the rumor — Cook could, of course, be feeding misinformation — it does line up more with what we’ve heard about iPad 2 availability. And, as we mentioned before, it would just be silly for a store to arbitrarily decide to not sell the most in-demand gadget on the market just because it had ‘met its quota.’

Product Review

Mediocre battery and a big notch slight Google's otherwise perfect Pixel phone

Google’s Pixel 3 XL has two big flaws: The gigantic notch on the front, and mediocre battery life. That being said, this is the best Android experience you can find in a smartphone today.
Emerging Tech

Of all the vape pens in the world, these 5 are the best

Vaping concentrates has become significantly more popular, especially among those that use cannabis for medicinal purposes. But don’t use just any vape pen: we found these five devices to be our favorites in 2018.

The 100 best Android apps turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

Choosing which apps to download is tricky, especially given how enormous and cluttered the Google Play Store has become. We rounded up 100 of the best Android apps and divided them neatly, with each suited for a different occasion.

Best Buy’s pre-Black Friday deal takes $330 off the 2017 Surface Pro bundle

If you don't need the latest Surface Pro, Best Buy has a heavily discounted rendition of the 2017 model available in its pre-Black Friday sale. For just $1,000, you can get the tablet with a Core i5 CPU.

The best protective iPhone cases to defend against dirt, dings, and drops

If you’re going off-road or work outdoors, it could be a good idea to invest in a tough case. These are our picks of the best protective iPhone cases for all iterations of the iPhone, from the iPhone XS to the 7.
Product Review

With style and feature upgrades, Misfit's next-generation Vapor 2 gets it right

Misfit’s next-generation smartwatch, the Vapor 2, packs built-in GPS, a heart-rate sensor, and more, into a beautiful design that starts from $250. We take a closer look at the company's latest device.

New sensor from L’Oréal tracks UV exposure to keep your skin safe from the sun

L'Oréal has announced a new wearable sensor that attaches to your clothing and can track ultraviolet light. The sensor uses NFC instead of Bluetooth -- meaning it doesn't need a battery to work properly.

The MacBook is smaller, the MacBook Air is faster, but which is better?

This year, Apple's MacBook Air got a powerful internal upgrade, but the redesign makes it slimmer and lighter. So should you get the MacBook Air over the MacBook? We'll compare both notebook's major features and help you decide.

Best iPhone 7 Plus screen protectors to shield your big, beautiful display

Cracked screens are expensive to replace. Fortunately for you, we've rounded up what's available in terms of protection for Apple's large iPhone 7 Plus. Here are the best screen protectors you can buy.

15 tips for keeping your vault-dwellers alive in ‘Fallout Shelter’

The wasteland can be an unfriendly place, if you don't know what you're doing. Here are 15 tips that will help your vault thrive in Fallout Shelter, including information on questing.

All the best Apple MacBook deals for Black Friday 2018

Shoppers looking for a new Apple laptop could find huge savings on a new MacBook come Black Friday. Retailers are offering discounts as much as $650 on select MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro models this holiday season.

Apple discontinues AirPort Extreme, Time Capsule as it exits Wi-Fi router business

Apple is now officially no longer in the router business. The company had already stopped selling the AirPort Express, and now its retail stores and websites have stopped offering the AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule.

Use multiple phone numbers on one device with Verizon’s ‘My Numbers’ app

For those who have separate phone numbers and devices for your work and personal lives, Verizon wants to help you get more organized. With its new "My Numbers" app, you can use up to four additional phone numbers on a single smartphone.

Need a quick battery boost? Try one of our favorite portable chargers

Battery life still tops the polls when it comes to smartphone concerns. If it’s bugging you, then maybe it’s time to snag yourself a portable charger. Here are our picks of the best portable chargers.