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Dell and Target stop selling iPod

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Source: ThinkSecret.com

Target Corporation and Dell Computer Corp. have both stopped selling Apple's iPod after objecting to details of the company's new dealer contract, sources have told Think Secret.

iPods have been marked for clearance at 1,148 Target stores nationwide, according to eyewitness reports. Sources report the clearance commenced on March 31. One Target employee who spoke with Think Secret said that the 10GB iPod for both Mac and Windows is now selling at a 15% discount, for $339.99 -- below cost. The employee said that most stores won't have the iPod in a display or on store shelves in full-view, instead storing it behind the counter. Additionally, he noted that a recent Target memo instructed employees not to count iPods with the store's annual inventory.

Meanwhile, Dell has also stopped selling the iPod, removing it from its online catalog. At press time, using Dell's product search engine to find the iPod yielded search results of competing MP3 players from Archos and Creative Labs. It's not known exactly what day Dell removed the iPod from its online product lineup, but it appears to have been removed in just the past week.

Last week we reported on Apple's new contracts for resellers, which went into effect April 1. An estimated 50 resellers objected to the content of the new contract and failed to sign by the due date. Among these 50 resellers included large retailers like Dell and Target. Think Secret obtained a copy of the new contract and, in our report, detailed the offending portions: The new contract sharply limits Apple's liability, outlines a new dispute process governed by Apple, waives dealers' right to a jury trial, and allows Apple to inspect dealer locations and request records up to five years after the contract's termination.

Of the dealers which we reported last week had not signed the contract, Buy.com, Fry's Electronics, MicroCenter, and Elite Computer in Cupertino are still deauthorized, according to sources. Some dealers, like San Francisco's Macadam Computer, have signed it with an attached letter of record stating that it was signed under duress. Separately, the 10-dealer lawsuit against Apple has been amended to include mention of the "unusual" adhesion contract.

It is not known exactly what objections Target and Dell had to the contract, but sources confirm the contract was instrumental in the decision of both companies to abandon, for now, the sale of the iPod. It is not known if either company will settle its contractual differences with Apple and start selling the product again, but based on Target's decision to clear out all remaining stock of iPods, it's thought the possibility of such a move is remote.

While retail insiders saw the new contract as a clear response to the multi-million dollar dealer lawsuit filed against Apple in February, pursuing it may have been to Apple's loss. Since larger companies like Target and Dell can afford to simply drop a product rather than sign a confining contract, Apple has lost two significant resellers for a product it has been trying to gain backing for in the Windows and consumer markets.

In October, Think Secret broke the story that Apple would sign on Target to sell the iPod. In that same month, Dell also began sales via both Web and phone.

Spokespersons for Apple, Dell and Target Corporation were not immediately available for comment.
 
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This is old, but do you think now that Dell stopped selling the iPod due to the fact that they were going to be creating their own MP3 player?

sKaD
 
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We can't delete our posts?
 
B

barnett25

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I'm not sure Apple's iPod sales in my area are going to be hurt much by this. I recently went to the local Target store to look at an iPod. I went to the mp3 player section where all the display models were and the iPod's display area was empty but for a note saying they could be found at the counter. So I go to the electronics counter and ask to see an iPod. The two guys working there looked at me real funny like they didn't understand me, they repeated "ipod?"...."yes" i said.
They then proceeded to open the doors under the counter and pull out........a digital camera! I stared at it for a minute and then proceded to tell the guys that I didn't want to see a camera, I told them that the Apple iPod was an mp3 player. They looked confused again, then one of them bends back down and rumages through the items under the counter again and pulls up a pretty little iPod box. After I confirm that this IS what I was looking for and begin looking at it (not that there's much you can tell from the box but, hey, I was holding an iPod in my hand!) the sales guys seem to be having trouble coming to terms with what this product was, with remarks something like "I've never seen one of those" . As I was leaving my girlfriend and I couldn't help but laugh.
 

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