Amazon starts selling Apple products directly on its website.
Amazon and Apple had a mini-war in 2015-2017 (although not as serious as Amazon and Google). Now it is finally in the past. Companies have made up so much that for the first time Amazon starts selling Apple equipment in its store for the first time . Previously, it was possible to buy iPhones and iPads on the site only from third parties, independent resellers. As a result, prices were $ 50– $ 150 higher than on the American Apple site (although it’s still $ 100– $ 200 lower than Apple.ru and in Russian stores). Now - the two companies have signed a contract that allows the online store to promote the new iPhone, iPad, MacBook, Apple Watch, Beats headphones and Mac desktops. As a result, prices will be even lower, and the quality of service should increase.
Surprisingly, even Apple TV extenders appeared on sale under a separate section, although they compete with Amazon's own products in this area (Google Home, which is fighting for a market with Echo speakers, is still banned in the store). Jeff Bezos and Tim Cook apparently sat out somewhere over a cup of coffee. Apple products are already officially available on the Amazon site, many even at a discount compared to Apple.com, apparently, to raise a positive wave about this feature.
In fact, some of the products became available from Amazon at the end of November, and we thought to report it even then, but we waited for all the most popular models to “roll out” and Amazon would make an official page for them so that it wouldn’t be necessary to wool search field. Now, just before Christmas, everything is ready, and the first reviews even began to appear on models exclusive to Amazon.
By the way, these reviews are mostly negative. The fact is that, yes, all new iPhones are cheaper than the “original”. But they are locked with AT & T. Unlink from the operator is possible, but it is a whole procedure through which not everyone is ready to go. It is much more profitable to get an iPad, MacBook or Apple Watch, which do not have such "bonuses".
Winners and losers
Amazon buyers, of course, win. They get Apple technology even faster, with service from Amazon, and cheaper by 5-10%. For Amazon, the new deal with Apple also bodes well, especially during the holiday season. The lack of official sales of the iPhone, MacBook and iPad was practically the only thing that pulled the online store down in the eyes of American buyers.
For Apple, it's a double-edged sword. Obviously, they considered everything, and realized that selling through Amazon would allow them to increase their profits. But there is a feeling that the company is losing ground slightly. Previously, they stood their ground firmly, luring all buyers on their own website. Even B & H could not (and cannot) sell the iPhone. But here - this year Apple.com dropped out of the top 3 online retailers in the United States, giving way to Walmart. Dealing with the popularity of Amazon own store also does not help.
Amazon is not shy about its (rather rough) methods, and as a result, it turns out, it gets its own. In 2015, she removed all Apple TV from her site without warning. Moreover: the users who scored the name of this player in the search field, instead of it, saw a Fire TV set belonging to Amazon instead of it. The same method was done with most of Google’s technology. And here - at least, Apple has forgiven such maneuvers. Apple TV will now again be available to Amazon customers, but the sale of the Apple HomePod smart speaker still prohibits an online store. The contract is even spelled out in a separate line. Obviously, who in this partnership dictates their requirements.
But even more, of course, resellers will suffer. From now on, only Amazon will be able to trade Apple equipment on its website. All the rest, many thousands of companies will be left without a business (or go to eBay). From December 1, Amazon no longer accepts new batches of Apple products from them in its warehouses. All offers of independent sellers will be permanently removed from the site on January 4, 2019th. The only exception is Amazon Renewed members who sell refurbished products with a quality guarantee. All other sellers of repaired Apple devices will also be forced to leave the platform.
What for us
Why is this important for us in Russia? At a minimum, because buying from Apple.com was, although beneficial, but extremely inconvenient. The store did its best not to sell its equipment to Russian customers, so as not to take profits from its own unit on Apple.ru. Canceled orders, did not accept Russian bank cards, did not send goods, if they noticed that they go to the addresses of warehouses of intermediary companies such as us. Apple.com had more problems with customers than with all other US stores combined. Buying there turned into a lottery: will they accept an order or not? And if they accept, will they cancel it?
Now this lottery is no more. Amazon is one of the most loyal stores for Russian customers. He does not need to protect the income of some Amazon.ru. He will not block the possibility of Russian buyers to buy on the US site.
And the prices, for the most part, are the same as those on Apple.com. Except for those products for which there is a discount - they are even cheaper. Savings compared to prices in Russian stores on the same latest MacBook and iPad Pro models - at least 10-20 thousand rubles. And if the product is discounted, like this latest MacBook Air, then even more. With the guarantee that this is a real new device, and you are not part of some tricky plan of one of the resellers.
The only thing - do not forget that since January 1, 2019, the duty-free limit of overseas purchases, unfortunately, drops to € 500. If you want to buy something more expensive - do it better now, so that your package has a chance to go through customs before the introduction of new rules. Otherwise, the amount of excess of the limit will have to pay a duty of 30% (for example, for a product worth € 600 it will be € 30).