CUPPERTINO (CNET) — Apple Inc. reportedly wants to expand its presence at Target retail locations with plans to open up store-within-a-store showcases of its products.

Citing sources, AppleInsider said the company plans to roll out “Apple-branded areas”–similar to what it already offers at Best Buy–to 25 Target stores.

The first group of locations, the site said, has been picked specifically in places where Apple does not already have a nearby retail store of its own.

Apple already sells a number of its products at Target, though it’s limited to its iOS products like the iPod, iPad and iPhone. By comparison, the mini store setups within Best Buy include Apple’s computers too. Nonetheless, Target is notable for being in the initial crop of retailers to sell Apple’s first-generation iPad in the months following its release.

Apple operates more than 350 retail stores worldwide, with most of those residing in the U.S. In the years leading up to Apple forging out on its own, the company sought partnerships with electronics retailers including Best Buy, Circuit City, and Sears. In 1998, Apple changed directions and began pulling out of several of these stores to puts its focus into a “store within a store” concept it had with retailer CompUSA. There, buyers would be able to experience Apple products in a controlled environment that was made separate from the sea of PCs, laptops, and gadgets from other vendors, a strategy it extended to Best Buy, and perhaps now Target.

Apple and Target did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

(© 2012 CBS Interactive Inc.. All Rights Reserved.)


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