Best Buy and the case of the mysterious Apple TV release

Customers getting mixed messages about when Apple TV will be available in stores.

Erica Ogg Former Staff writer, CNET News
Erica Ogg is a CNET News reporter who covers Apple, HP, Dell, and other PC makers, as well as the consumer electronics industry. She's also one of the hosts of CNET News' Daily Podcast. In her non-work life, she's a history geek, a loyal Dodgers fan, and a mac-and-cheese connoisseur.
Erica Ogg
2 min read

Is Best Buy selling Apple TV now? Well, that seems to depend on where you shop.

If you'll recall, last week Best Buy told us that Apple TV would be available starting Tuesday in all of its 800-plus stores a full two weeks before any other retail chain (excluding, of course, Apple's own stores, which have had it for sale since the end of last week).

Then, Best Buy took back its claim of an exclusive the next day.

Apple TV
CNET Networks

Then Best Buy customer Chad Stutz of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, told Crave that he went to his local Best Buy on Tuesday where he saw four Apple TVs sitting locked in a cage on a shelf in the home theater department. When a store associate tried to get the key to get Stutz an Apple TV, a manager intervened and said they could not sell him the product until April 8. Store managers also directed him to call 1-800-BESTBUY, where it was confirmed to him that Apple TV wouldn't be for sale in stores until April 8. Meanwhile, he was told he could purchase one from BestBuy.com, Stutz said.

A random survey of other Best Buy stores revealed a variety of different responses when asked whether Apple TV was available: from "Sure, we're putting them out on the floor right now," to "An Apple TV? No, we don't have that," to "We don't have any in right now."

So, what's a customer to think?

A Best Buy corporate representative confirmed that, yes, Apple TV is indeed for sale in its stores, but would check into the matter. We hadn't heard back by Tuesday evening.

If you really want Apple TV, it sounds like it's best to call ahead to see if your local Best Buy is prepared to sell you one. Then again, several Apple stores said Tuesday that they had the devices in stock, so whether Best Buy has its act together may not matter.