Brick and mortar shopaholics have so few places to turn for an adrenaline rush these days thanks to the advent of online shopping, but Black Friday always promises to be a battle that tests even the most seasoned shopper’s will. Anxious consumers line up early outside their retailers of choice and prepare to push, shove, crawl and even trample their way to some of the deepest discounts of the year. It’s no holds barred and things are bound to get dirty, but those who plan to work off their Thanksgiving feasts by throwing elbows and sprinting from store to store had better get their game faces on and go in prepared. Following the break, we lay out all the top tech retailers in the country and link you to the tools you need to map out your plan of attack. Good luck, be safe, and Godspeed.
Walmart has agreed to pay $27.5 million in damages to more than 25 million Netflix customers who subscribed to the service between May 19th, 2005 and September 2nd, 2011, as part of a settlement in a class-action lawsuit. Litigation was levied against the nationwide retailer after Walmart ditched efforts to run a DVD-by-mail business that would compete directly with Netflix. Reportedly, Walmart agreed to bail on its plans provided that Netflix pointed its customers to Walmart to purchase DVDs. Walmart has not admitted any wrongdoing and Netflix plans to continue fighting the charges during a January 23rd trial. While a tentative approval of the agreement was already granted by a judge in September, the final ruling will come during a court appearance scheduled for March 14th. Netflix members will receive payment in Walmart gift cards and cash. As MercuryNews points out, $6.9 million, or 25%, may be paid to Netflix’s lawyers while another $1.7 million will be paid out to cover legal fees. In that case, 25 million Netflix customers would have to divvy up the remaining $19 million, which means members would receive less than $1 each in damages on average. More →
T-Mobile announced on Wednesday that it will offer the affordable Samsung Exhibit II 4G Android smartphone beginning on November 2nd, following an initial release in Walmart stores on October 27th. The Exhibit II 4G runs Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and is equipped with a 1GHz processor, a 3.7-inch display, a 3-megapixel camera, a front-facing camera for video chat and support for T-Mobile’s 4G HSPA+ network. In addition, T-Mobile said the phone is capable of sharing its HSPA+ connection with other Wi-Fi-enabled devices using its Wi-Fi sharing feature. Read on for the full press release from T-Mobile.
T-Mobile announced on Monday that it has teamed up with Walmart to offer an exclusive $30 monthly prepaid plan that provides unlimited web and text. The new plan will be available online and in more than 2,200 Walmart stores across the United States. “T-Mobile is thrilled to offer this exclusive, affordable service plan, designed specifically with heavy text and data users in mind, to meet the demand for prepaid, which is expected to double by 2015,” said Amy McCune, vice president of national retail, T-Mobile USA. The plan will come with 100 minutes and additional talk time will cost $0.10 per minute. By October 15th, T-Mobile will offer a total of six prepaid handsets, including one with “4G” support. Read on for the full press release from T-Mobile USA. More →
Research In Motion’s retail partners have begun slashing prices on the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet in an effort to bolster unimpressive sales. RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie confirmed on the company’s second-quarter earnings call that price drops were imminent after the company reported just 200,000 units shipped into channels during the tablet’s first full quarter of availability. BGR reported reported earlier this month that Rogers employees were able to purchase the PlayBook starting at $250, and now the general public can finally get in on the action. Read on for more.
Updated with a statement from RIM below. More →
On Wednesday, Walmart subsidiary VUDU launched a new iPad-accessible web app that allows iPad users to stream more than 20,000 movies and television shows directly from the Web. iPad owners don’t have to use iTunes and simply need to navigate to http://VUDU.com for access to rentals and purchases. “VUDU’s launch on the iPad plays into that vision as we’re committed to offering the VUDU experience on as many devices as possible so customers can shop for and access their favorite movies and TV shows however they want, whenever they want,” general manager of VUDU Edward Lichty said. Customers can add a VUDU web app to their home screen by clicking the “Add to Home Screen” button once they have accessed the website. Read on for the full press release. More →
According to a purported screenshot of an internal Walmart inventory system, the retail giant will soon offer HP’s first webOS-powered tablet at its stores across the country. The screenshot, which was obtained by enthusiast blog PreCentral.net, shows a 32GB Wi-Fi model priced exactly in line with Apple’s iPad 2 at $599. The price point might make it a tough sell over Apple’s popular offering, but webOS fans eager to get their hands on the HP slate at least know what they’ll likely have to spend when the tablet finally does launch. Walmart will also supposedly carry the TouchPad’s Touchstone charging dock for $79.88, a Bluetooth keyboard for $69.88 and an AC charger for $29.88. We took a hands-on look at the TouchPad when HP unveiled the tablet at its Think Beyond event this past February, and we were very excited to see webOS shine on a large-form device. The integration with webOS smartphones was impressive and we can’t wait to get our hands on a review unit. Until then, we’ll all just have to sit tight and wait for HP to make launch details official. More →
Toys R’ Us may begin selling the iPad 2 next month according to a report from enthusiast site ModMyi. The site’s source provided a leaked screen shot that shows employee training software as well as a secondary product knowledge sheet. Apple’s latest tablet has been wildly popular since its launch on March 11th so this is good news for consumers trying to get their hands on a unit. As of late March, Apple began replenishing the stock in some retail stores, and its online store says that customers still have to wait 2-3 weeks for new orders to ship. The iPad 2 is also available from AT&T, Best Buy, RadioShack, Target, Verizon Wireless and Walmart, among other retailers. Toys R’ Us has not yet officially announced plans to offer the iPad 2. More →
In a press release just moments ago, Motorola Mobility announced the release of the its Wi-Fi only XOOM tablet in the United States. Available beginning March 27th for $599, the 32GB device will be available at Amazon.com, Best Buy, Costco, RadioShack, select Sam’s Club locations, Staples and Walmart. The XOOM was the first tablet to launch with Google’s Honeycomb operating system (Android 3.0) back in February. The price tag, which has been a point of contention amongst technology pundits and analysts, mirrors that of Apple’s 32GB Wi-Fi iPad. The full press release is after the break. More →
While Apple has not revealed initial sales figures for the iPad 2 launch this past weekend, one spokesperson has hinted that sales have been solid. Given the lines outside of an Apple Store in NYC on Friday, and some analyst claims that Apple sold close to 1 million iPad 2 units during the tablet’s debut weekend, that comes as no surprise to us. “Demand for the next generation iPad 2 has been amazing. We are working hard to get iPad 2 into the hands of every customer who wants one as quickly as possible,” Trudy Muller, an Apple spokesperson, told The Loop today. Apple’s iPad 2 hit store shelves on 5:00 p.m. on Friday, and virtually every retail store — including Apple, AT&T, Best Buy, Target, Walmart, and Verizon Wireless locations — have sold out of iPad 2 stock. Still looking to grab one? Try your luck in our iPad 2 giveaway. More →
Apple, AT&T, Verizon Wireless confirm tomorrow’s 5PM retail launch of iPad 2; online sales at 1AM Pacific
Apple, AT&T, and Verizon Wireless have independently fired off press releases letting us know exactly how and when we can acquire yourself an iPad 2 tomorrow, March 11th. Starting at 5:00 p.m. local time, interested parties can head to an Apple, AT&T, or Verizon Wireless retail store to purchase the 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB tablet in white or black. Verizon will be offering four data plans for the iPad 2:
- 1GB per month – $20
- 3GB per month – $35
- 5GB per month – $50
- 10GB per month – $80
While AT&T will be offering just two in both the pre-paid and post-paid formats:
- Monthly statements: $14.99 for 250 MB or $25 for 2GB. Customers who exceed their monthly data allotment will be billed $14.99 for another 250MB on the $14.99 plan or $10 per 1 GB of overage on the 2 GB plan [AT&T is offering consumers who choose monthly statement billing one free month of service].
- Credit card billing: $14.99 for 250 MB or $25 for 2 GB. Customers who exceed their monthly data allotment may choose to purchase another 250 MB on the $14.99 plan or purchase an additional 2 GB for $25 on the 2 GB plan.
All models of the iPad 2 — Wi-Fi and 3G — will also be available at Apple retail stores and select Walmart, Best Buy, Sam’s Club and Target stores nationwide starting at 5:00 p.m. AT&T and Verizon stores will only carry GSM and CDMA iPads respectively. If you’re not inclined to hit up a retail outlet, but are still interested in the tablet, AT&T and Apple will begin selling the iPad 2 online at 1:00 a.m. Pacific Time (4:00 a.m. Eastern) on the 11th. There you have it, if you’re jones’ing to get yourself an iPad 2, start formulating your game plan. More →
Though not confirmed on all counts, it looks like Apple’s iPad 2 will be available from several third-party retailers at launch. Best Buy, the nation’s largest consumer electronics retailer, has already confirmed that it will carry Apple’s second-generation iOS tablet starting March 11th, as was expected. 9to5 Mac now reports that in addition to Best Buy, nationwide retail giants Walmart and Sam’s Club will both carry the iPad 2 at launch as well. Both chains already have iPad 2 SKU numbers showing in their respective inventory systems, the blog’s source claims. The report might help quell rumors of potential launch inventory shortages that have been swirling for the past month.
UPDATE: Walmart just made it official — and it will offer each model for $1 under MSRP. More →
Just a friendly reminder to all those looking to pick up an iPhone from Verizon Wireless: the device officially hits store shelves today. Those coveting a CDMA iPhone can hit up Apple Stores, Best Buys, Walmarts, and, of course, Verizon Wireless retail locations with credit card in hand. Good luck and happy hunting.