Just in case you missed it, here's a resolution to the whole question of where those iPads at TJ Maxx came from. A high tech tablet isn't really the usual fare for the discount clothing retailer, and Steve Jobs himself confirmed that the chain wasn't an "authorized reseller" of Apple's magical, revolutionary device. But TJ Maxx says in an official statement that it has its ways: "Earlier this week, a small number of T.J.Maxx and Marshalls stores received a very limited quantity of first quality electronic tablets that were sourced from a retailer," the chain tells Fortune.
In short, they bought the iPads from someone who was authorized to sell them, and then resold them (losing about $100 off of the standard retail price) to whoever came in the store and found them.
Why? The "coming in the store" part was the important one -- for around $8000, according to analysts, TJ Maxx picked up a sizable amount of foot traffic from people just coming through the doors on the weekend before Black Friday, not to mention a flurry of publicity on Apple blogs like, say, this one. In short, it was a publicity stunt.
Honestly, as publicity stunts go, selling iPads for $400 is a pretty good one. Steve himself wasn't real happy about it, but if any other retail chains want to pick up the banner, we'll follow the charge.
[via App Advice]