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Apple iPad

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Nearly two weeks after Apple announced its iPad tablet, sparking gadget lust among both consumers and business users who have to wait weeks and weeks to get their hands on the device, Apple has yet to let its resellers know whether they will have access to the product to sell to their end-customer companies.

Apple reseller Angela O’Donnell immediately started getting requests from her business customers for the device when it was announced on Jan. 27.

But when she asked her distributor Tech Data about it, they were still waiting to hear back from Apple.

Two weeks later, Tech Data says it is still waiting for an answer from Apple on the iPad’s distribution, according to Joe Quaglia, Tech Data’s senior vice president of U.S. marketing.

The question about resellers selling the iPad likely comes from its tie-in to the data network. The iPad’s more expensive versions offer 3G network coverage from AT&T just as the iPhone does, and the iPhone is sold exclusively by carrier AT&T along with data contracts. However, the iPad’s least expensive version is equipped with just Wi-Fi and not 3G, making it more similar to the products resellers offer, such as Macs.

Meanwhile, at Tech Data, the calls about the iPad keep coming in.

“We get calls every day on that, as you can imagine,” Quaglia told Channel Insider.

Quaglia believes the market will be big, not just for Apple’s iPad but for other tablet products as well. He sees big opportunities for verticals such as health care and education. But he also expects that the tablet’s reach will quickly extend beyond that as vertical applications are created for various business verticals.

“I don’t know how many applications were written for the iPhone, but it’s some obscene number,” he said, noting that businesses have adopted the iPhone as well as consumers.

“I do believe other businesses would be interested in the iPad as well,” he said. “Think of how many people are using a smartphone. And how many apps have been developed for those. I could definitely see tablets as a good device for people on the run who need something easy to carry and manage.”

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