[UPDATE 22/11: Told you it was a publicity stunt!]
A tipster let the guys at Engadget know that a TJ Maxx store in Vernon, NY was selling 16GB WiFi iPads for $399, a $100 under the list price.
Within moments there was a torrent of speculation that this was a sign that the shine had worn off the iPad and that demand was falling, or that Apple was preparing for a price drop. Others claim that it's Apple's plan to hasten world domination by flogging cheap iPads over the holidays.
Sheesh. Time for a new tinfoil hat guys.
Think about it. What's more likely - that Apple is coordinating with a few TJ Maxx stores to roll out a price drop/stimulate demand/hasten world domination* (delete depending on your opinion), or that an outlet is doing something that seems crazy to the rest of use to attract attention at a time when everyone is doing crazy stuff to attract attention? My bet is that this is nothing more going on here than a PR stunt to get people thinking about, and then into, TJ Maxx stores. After all, you only need a handful of iPads to make this trick work. Even taking a $100 dive on each iPad sold isn't really that big a deal if it's been factored in to a marketing budget and there isn't an unlimited stock.
And I think as a PR stunt it's worked a treat. Don't you?