Wal-Mart to sell Apple iPod shuffle? Walmart.com music service is ‘temporarily unavailable’

“Apple Computer has initiated a partnership with Wal-Mart that will soon see the iPod shuffle featured at Wal-Mart discount locations around the country, AppleInsider has learned. According to sources close to the retail giant, Wal-Mart in April will begin receiving mass quantities of Apple’s new iPod shuffle digital music player, which it will then make available in many, if not all, of its nearly 5000 locations,” Kasper Jade reports for AppleInsider.

“The deal between the two companies will be capped by a feature in Wal-Mart’s March tabular advertisement, sources say. Typically speaking, a Wal-Mart feature calls for at least 50 units — in this case 25+ of each shuffle model — per hometown store, while metro area locations would require significantly larger quantities of the product. Figuring conservatively, with 5000 stores each receiving approximately 50 units, the feature alone would demand a quarter million shuffles,” Jade reports.

Full article with more information here.

MacDailyNews Note: A quick visit over to Wal-Mart’s WMA-infested (and iPod-incompatible – which hasn’t stopped them before – see related articles below) online music store currently yields this:
Sorry!
We’re sorry, this Walmart.com service is temporarily unavailable. Please check back at a later time for this service.
In the meantime, there are other Walmart.com products and services available to you. We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience.

Interesting development or just a coincidence?

The Wal-Mart online music FAQ is still working and currently states:
Will Wal-Mart Music Downloads play on my iPod?
At this time, the Apple iPod will not play Wal-Mart Music Downloads files. Our files are in the WMA format with DRM (Digital Rights Management) encryption. Many other media players will play our files.

Perhaps Wal-Mart has decided now that they’d actually like to sell songs? And the best way to do that would be to offer a download format that works on the market-dominating iPod family of devices, right? Questions, all – no answers, yet. Stay tuned…

[UPDATE, 1:23pm ET: An MDN reader has informed us that he contacted ASDA UK (a Wal-Mart subsidiary) and asked if the iPod shuffle deal included the UK. He was told be a customer service rep that iPod shuffle deal will cover the UK as well.]

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Wal-Mart begins selling 20GB ‘Apple iPod from HP’ which is incompatible with Wal-Mart Music Download – September 19, 2004
Mossberg: RealPlayer Music Store ‘not as good as Apple’s iTunes, but better than Wal-Mart’s entry’ – April 01, 2004

35 Comments

  1. I am now back up. Repeat, I am now back up.
    http://musicdownloads.walmart.com/

    Another iPod quote you’ll find listed on me is:

    Can I transfer the music I download to a portable player?

    Yes, you can as long as the player is able to play WMA files (note: iPods currently DO NOT play WMA files). Please refer to the documentation that came with your player to determine if it is compatible with WMA-format music.

    I was closed to change that wording, that is all.

  2. dunno about this. The company I work for is a big Wal-Mart supplier, and I can tell you for a fact that WM will squeeze Apple until they pop to get the lowest price they can get; they do it to everyone else. I also wonder if having iPod available at WM will tarnish the iPod image a bit. I rather liked the idea that you couldn’t get the thing just anywhere…

  3. “My obsessive love for Apple is only surpassed by my obsessive disgust for Wal-Mart.”

    -Ditto
    Wal-mart ranks right up there with MS as far as producing the largest negative impact for business and consumer welfare. To them nothing matters other than ruling the world.

  4. I think the idea of Apple products being sold by Walmart is a BAD idea. Don’t get me wrong, I like Walmart. It’s a pretty nice place to get stuff cheap. I think of the iPod shuffle like a 3 series BMW – it’s got the reputation and performance without being as costly as its older siblings. Owning one gives the feeling of exclusivity but is available to everyone. I love the snob factor. Walmart would take all that away.

    Imagine buying jewelry for your wife or girlfriend. Imagine the happiness on her face. Now imagine telling her you got it at Walmart.

    I love it when I sit down at my local Borders and I see everyone with a Wintel laptop stare as I open my Powerbook. It makes me feel like I am part of an elite group.

    Smart shoppers shop at Walmart. Smarter shoppers go to the Apple store. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  5. Wal-Mart is on my ‘don’t do business with’ list. Along with Microsoft, Exxon, Kraft, Nestlé and others.

    I was disappointed when Apple gave credibilty to Amazon’s one-click patent by licensing it.

    I realise there are compromises, Wal-Mart is not one of mine.

  6. The only reason I’m doing this is to stick it to Rob Glaser of Napster.

    Why else would two companies with such incompatible market philosophies do such a thing? Their aesthetic is the opposite of Apples. But for this smack down, we are taking no prisoners!

    That Bozo Glaser is going down!

    Steve.

  7. Stay tuned…. try looking into researching what Apple has been doing to change, streamline and modernize their current systemic infrastructure. Past problems relative to supply and demand may greatly diminish over the course of 2005…..

    Never underestimate the power and ingenuity of Apple employees and Mr. Jobs….. Get ready for a wild ride in 2005…

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