Wal-mart has been a major retailer for Apple for many years. Recently they have been testing a prototype mini Apple store in Arkansas, near their headquarters in Rogers. Invoking the Apple look, it is a radically different approach by Wal-Mart. Traditional Apple displays have been variants of the existing displays used by Wal-Mart. The new displays look like something you would find in an actual Apple store and stand alone. To my knowledge, WM has never done anything like this before, on long term or widescale effort. We now have the Apple stores, Best Buy, and now Wal-Mart with modern displays touting the products. And Sam's Club is on the way. Other than possibly Sears/Target, I do not see any more retailers having such a pact with Apple.
To me, it shows the impact that Apple has on the market. You can talk about how many Android phones and tablets there are, and make all sorts of claims about individual models, but it still boils down to the fact that Apple has them all beat in what counts, name recognition. You will not see any of the other manufacturers with enough clout with the public, where retailers are willing to go past the normal marketing to put items on display. MP3 players are losing market share, but even so, Apple units are outselling all others. Despite all of the models competing with the iPhone, it is still the one to beat. The best proof of that is the resell value of older models compared with the competition. And iPad still owns at least 75% of the tablet market, depending on how you define a tablet.
You can talk about technical details all you want, and never resolve the issue. I think that people look at the tablets. Then they look at what is popular. Then they look at where it is offered. You can go to Best Buy, AT&T, and Verizon and see other brands, but at most retailers like Wal-Mart, Target, etc., no one has a clue about the other brands. Even if they sell them. Then comes the important questions. What happens if it breaks, or I don't like it? Apple's generous return/repair policy stands out. How do I learn about getting the most out of this investment? The Apple stores put on clinics for customers. Around Oklahoma, and probably most states, adult classes are held on using iOS and the iPad or iPhone. I think this is what is serving Apple well with the public. They are saying that you do not have to be a computer technician to enjoy the benefits of an iDevice. We will make things easy for you.