Target selling the iPad cheaper than Apple

Apple forces retailers to sell the iPad 2 at the full retail price, just as it does. Target is getting around that by giving an instant gift card with the purchase of an iPad.

This morning I decided to pull the trigger on an iPad 2, and just before heading to the Apple store I jumped online to see if I could find it in a store closer to home. The Target web site indicated the store located just three minutes from my house had the white 32GB iPad 2 in stock.

In Target I found a representative to unlock the case and sell me the iPad. Lo and behold, when ringing up the sale she told me that Target gives a $40 gift card with the $599 purchase of the iPad. That price is the retail price for the 32GB iPad 2 everywhere, but with a $40 gift card that effectively drops it to $559. That's cheaper than Apple sells them for, and everywhere else I have checked.

The $40 gift card must be spent in Target, but since it was an instant "discount" I used it to pick up an orange Smart Cover for my new iPad 2. I suppose cheaper iPad 2 configurations would qualify for a smaller gift card, the Target employee didn't know. The most expensive 64GB model would get a bigger discount, so I could have upgraded the memory for less than the $100 upcharge from Apple.