Don't expect to find Macs, iPhones or iPads at StaplesFebruary 20, 2013: 11:41 AM ET
The tweets that launched a score of news stories may have been premature
FORTUNE -- The Street's Rocco Pendola was tearing his shoulder-length locks Wednesday morning in a piece titled I'm Worried About Apple. Again. And You Should Be, Too. The thrust of his story: Tim Cook is diluting the precious Apple (AAPL) brand by allowing its products to be sold by retailers associated with, in his word, "mediocrity."
The story is this: At the end of last week, several mid-level Staples executives tweeted excitedly that Apple's products were coming to the 2,000-store strong office supply chain.
"After Canada, #Apple products are coming to #Staples in US. Great news!" wrote a senior vice president.
"Staples just finalized a deal to begin selling Apple products #finally," tweeted a field service manager.
"Thanks #Apple for letting #Staples sell you...oh, and for the delicious apple products to celebrate" wrote a senior accounts coordinator, adding for emphasis in another tweet the hashtag #truestory.
Not quite so true after all. Although a couple dozen news outlets dutifully reported that Staples was going carry Apple's product line, customers hoping to get a nice discount there on a Mac, iPad or iPhone are going to be disappointed.
According to a source in a position to know, only select Staples outlets are involved (at least at the outset), and they will be carrying only Apple accessories, Apple TV set-top boxes and perhaps some iPods.
Computers, tablets and smartphones are definitely not part of the deal.