"iPad is here!" proclaims Best Buy, in their latest e-mail solicitation received this afternoon. Wow, 500 bucks for an iPad? Sounds interesting enough to at least open the ad and see what all the fuss is about.
As it turns out, "here" means something different to the folks at Best Buy than it does to the rest of us. If you're looking to pick one up for yourself or the kiddies in time for the blessed holiday on Saturday, you'll likely be disappointed. The gang at Best Buy is pulling the old bait and switch on you. The $499 iPad's are on backorder, as I saw when I clicked on the ad.
There are, however, plenty of 64 gigabyte and 3G iPad's available for $829 and $729 respectively. Relative bargains when you consider presenting an empty package under your pagan Christmas tree on Saturday. Even the $599 32 gigabyte iPad is backordered.
My guess is that the marketing people at Best Buy figure that you'll be so worked up over getting a "cheap" iPad that your disappointment at seeing that it's backordered will lead you to quickly jump on the more expensive $729 model so that you won't have to wait until mid-January for your toy to arrive.
They make a point of saying "starting at $499," which is as good as saying "starting at $4." If there aren't any $499 products available, what difference does it make what you say your starting price is? However, the ad also says "Available online..." so maybe a red challenge flag is in order? Or, backorder.
The whole thing is either borderline illegal or genius marketing. Tis the season.