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Wal-Mart to Sell New IPads at Midnight, Before Apple Stores

The new Apple Inc. iPad in San Francisco on March 15, 2012. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. shoppers will get an eight-hour head start in buying Apple Inc.’s new iPad.

Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, will sell a limited number of iPads starting at 12:01 a.m. tomorrow, the Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer said in an e-mailed statement today. Apple retail outlets are due to start selling the new tablet when they open, at 8:00 a.m.

The new iPad, unveiled last week, sports a high-resolution screen and stronger processor. Apple typically doesn’t favor other retailers over its own chain of more than 350 outlets. The arrangement also gives Wal-Mart a jump on such rivals as Target Corp. and Best Buy Co.

Wal-Mart will sell models with 16 gigabytes of memory and Wi-Fi Web access.

The iPad accounted for about 20 percent of Apple’s sales last quarter, making it the company’s second best-selling product by revenue behind the iPhone.

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