C|Net is reporting that Apple will be pulling out of Sears. The move comes as stories about Apple opening up their own branded brick and mortar stores continue to gain momentum. According to the C|Net report:
"Apple and Sears have mutually decided to part ways and will be unwinding their relationship during the remainder of this year," Sears Roebuck spokesman Tom Nicholson said Thursday. Nicholson declined to elaborate.
The move comes as Apple is changing its retail strategy, which includes plans to open its own line of stores.
An Apple representative was not immediately available for comment.
In a January meeting with analysts, Apple Senior Vice President Tim Cook hinted that the company might sever ties with some retailers.
"Weill cut some channel partners that may not be providing the buying experience" Apple wants, Cook said at the time. "Weire not happy with everybody."
Apple has pulled out of Sears once before, shortly after Steve Jobs returned to the company and dumped all of Appleis retail channel partners. Sears was reinstated in 1999. Apple also returned to CompUSA and Best Buy, but Best Buy was also cut again after the retail giant refused to carry more than one color of iMac when the 5 fruity models were first introduced. CompUSAis store-within-a-store remains Appleis strongest retail presence outside of the thousands of Apple VARs around the country.
When visiting Sears.com, we found out that the AirPort Base Station, the Indigo 366 MHz iBook, and the iBook Special Edition were still available for online purchase.