RadioShack to Offer iPods, Macs Next?

Apple enthusiast site AppleInsider reported Thursday that RadioShack has entered into a deal with Apple Computer to offer the full line of iPods by the holiday shopping season. Also, sources said that if the program does well, it could lead to a pilot program where Macintosh computers would be sold in some of the company's stores.

RadioShack currently sells the HP co-branded 1GB Shuffle, 6GB sliver Mini, and 60GB iPod. However, HP does not offer price protection, forcing the retailer to sell the 60GB at the old price of $449 USD to avoid selling it at a loss. This is reported to be one of the reasons for RadioShack approaching Apple directly.

HP's RadioShack deal is its largest carrier of the unit, as most retailers such as Target, Wal-Mart, and Best Buy have opted to deal with Apple directly for deals involving the popular music player. The loss of RadioShack would bring into question the viability of the program if HP were unable to find another carrier for the player.

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RadioShack has reportedly agreed to purchase 450,000 players as an initial three-month shipment. According to sources, the company expects to sell much more than that, especially over the holiday season.

The company benefited from shortages last year, when its large stocks of iPod+HP units drew in customers when most other retailers had depleted theirs - likely contributing to the iPod+HP's success in the holiday quarter last year.

AppleInsider said that sources indicated that if the program does well, both companies have discussed a test program to sell Macintosh computers in RadioShack stores. The company's agreement to sell HP and Compaq computers ends at the end of the year.

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