HP Adds Sears, Sam's Club to iPod Retailers List

Hewlett-Packard has added Sears and Samis Club to its growing list of national retailers that will sell its version of the Apple iPod. The news of the additions came in a client report from Merrill Lynch analyst Steve Milunovich, obtained by The Mac Observer Monday .

Samis Club, owned by Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., operates 542 stores in the United States. Samis Club is the nationis largest members-only warehouse chain that serves entrepreneurs and consumers. The "members only" retailer has over 46 million members. Sears operates over 870 stores in the U.S.

Other major U.S. retailers selling the HP-branded iPod include Amazon.com, Circuit City, CompUSA, Costco, Best Buy, Fryis, Office Depot, Staples and Radio Shack.

"Clearly Apple has done a great job of making the iPod popular, but we have a wide distribution globally, so itill really help in driving up the volume," HP executive vice president Vyomesh Joshi said regarding retail partnerships back in late August when the Apple iPod from HP made its debut.

Sources close to HP tell The Mac Observer Apple will not be selling its branded iPod in any of the same retailers where the HP product will is sold.

HP is offering both the 20 gigabyte (GB) and 40GB models for US$299.99 and $399.99, respectively, the same prices as Apple. The HP product began shipping September 15. HP bought 120,000 iPodis from Apple last quarter. Estimates are Apple, together with HP, will sell about 2.7 million iPods this quarter.