Best Buy Pulls Product Promo That Mocks iPad

It's unclear precisely why the electronics retailer pulled the ad, which showed an iPad-like product duct taped to a keyboard on the left and a new rival product on the right-with "Like That. But Better." above the images.

Best Buy Company, Inc., has removed from its Web site a promotional image that disparages Apple's iPad and touts a rival product.

The ad for the Asus Eee Pad Transformer showed what appeared to be an iPad duct taped to a keyboard on the left and the Asus product on the right. “Like That,” said the text above the duct-taped concoction, and “But Better” appeared above the Asus product.

A message left on Best Buy's media hotline wasn't returned, so it's unclear why the company pulled the ad from a product Web page on its site. Even the cached version has disappeared, but technology magazine PC World shows the image alongside an article on its Web site.

Asus' Eee Pad Transformer is an Android tablet with a 10.1-inch screen. But unlike the iPad, it comes with an optional keyboard and touchpad dock, which clips the tablet to form a laptop.

Apple sells a keyboard dock for the original iPad, and the dock reportedly works with the iPad 2. But the company isn't making a keyboard dock specifically for the new tablet, and the old dock doesn't appear on its list of iPad 2 accessories.

It isn't apparent whether Best Buy decided to pull the ad of its own accord or whether the move was in response to a request by Apple.

Technology experts say that the Transformer will provide Apple with some fierce competition, and only partly because of the clip-on keyboard. Best Buy's 16-gigabyte model of the Transformer is expected to sell for $399-$100 less than the iPad 2. The dock will reportedly sell for $149.

No date has been announced for the Transformer's debut in the United States. It is already being sold in Taiwan.

Best Buy is Minnesota's third-largest public company based on revenue, which totaled $49.7 billion for the fiscal year that ended in February 2010. The company reported $50.3 billion in revenue for its most recently completed fiscal year.