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Get 'em While They're Young: Apple to Sell iPads at Toys "R" Us


Toys "R" Us will soon be selling iPads alongside G.I. Joes, PlayStation games, and Legos. And did you know? One in five U.S. teens owns a tablet PC (which basically means an iPad). iPads: Apple's doin' it for the kids.

An attendee of a Toys "R" Us employee trainee session has leaked out a photo of training materials that are being shared with staff so that they're equipped to answer questions about everything iPad-related. This is more or less proof-positive that Apple's wondertablet will soon be appearing at Toys "R" Us stores across the nation in addition to its availability online, in phone stores, Apple stores, and venues like Best Buy. It also hints that Apple is finally getting on top of its supply-chain shortages for the iPad 2—and that the Japanese earthquake hasn't affected supply too badly.

It makes tremendous sense for Apple to sell iPads alongside Barbies and board games. Toys "R" Us already sells computing devices like Playstations and Nintendo's DS games console range—the iPad is seeing increasing use as a powerful games console, so it basically fits right in. Plus there's this new data to think about from Piper Jaffray that quantifies how many souls across the U.S. have bought a tablet PC. In its survey of 4,500 school kids, the analyst firm discovered that 22% of teens have a tablet PC already, and 20% more plan to buy one inside the next six months. Since Apple's basically snagged the lion's share of the tablet market (actually more like two or three lions' shares, if sales data for the Motorola Xoom are anything to go by), this means around one in five U.S. teenagers already owns an iPad.

And we know what teenagers are like: While they struggle and fight with their parents about establishing their individuality, if there's a vogue among their pals for playing with iPads, then they'll all want one. And what parent wouldn't be tempted to buy one for their kids, half thinking about the "educational benefit," half thinking about using it themselves sometimes, and being prepared to hand out $3 to $5 dollars every now and again for a new game, compared to $20 to $60 for a PlayStation game?

Apple's savvy about getting 'em young—and hoping they'll be fans of Cupertino-made gear for life.

Image via Flickr user angryjuliemonday.

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