Conner said the “only reason Apple would inform resellers about anything well in advance is when Apple is about to shaft them”.
Former independent Apple reseller Adam Connor – owner of Total Recall Solutions – said rumours that resellers have been informed about the launch of Apple’s much anticipated iPhone in Australia is doubtful. Conner said the “only reason Apple would inform resellers about anything well in advance is when Apple is about to shaft them”.
Australian online Macintosh community forum – MacTalk – has gone wild with rumours regarding the impending Australian launch of the iPhone.
According to a long-time MacTalk user: “Apple has been informing resellers of their iPhone strategy for Australia. Resellers have been informed of the following things; last week of June release; more than one carrier; no contract lock in; and current resellers will be able to sell phones.”
The MacTalk user wrote: “This ties in perfectly with the Sydney Apple store opening, any WWDC announcements, iPhone 2.0 software and time for stock to filter in to the country.”
However certified Apple engineer and former independent Apple reseller, Adam Connor of Total Recall Solutions, said the thing that strikes him about the post is whether or not resellers will be able to sell the iPhone from “day one”.
“Take the iTunes for example, when Apple first launched that, mass merchant retailer and petrol station Shell had the cards in store, six months before independent Apple resellers. At the time resellers didn’t have any time to prepare their store and staff to sell the cards,” he said. “If Apple were to sell the phone on a no contract basis then resellers would only have to order them in and sell them, however if Apple commits to carriers then resellers would need to train their staff on paperwork.”
According to Connor, the rumour that the iPhone would be launched in June “doesn’t seem to ring true”. Apple can’t release current the current iPhone to Australia because it’s only a 2G EDGE phone and the only carrier offering a 2G EDGE network is Telstra.
“Apple would have to deal with Telstra. It would mean that Telstra would have the upper hand in setting the terms and conditions of the phone,” he said. “It would be more likely that Apple would wait to release the 3G iPhone directly to the Australian market.”
Connor doubts Apple won’t lock iPhone customers into a carrier contract. The only time Apple has done this was in France and Germany, where laws don’t tie mobile phone customers to one carrier.
“It was only for a short time and Apple was charging around $1100 for a phone. Apple has always gone with a carrier model because it’s a key revenue stream and Apple loathes losing any potential revenue,” he said. “Apple enjoys the kickbacks it gets from locking customers into a contract and having no contract means no extra revenue stream.”
However Conner concedes that he could be wrong, and part of him hopes that he is, as it would be a boon for resellers.
“One post (on the last page of the forum) said Apple may use Australia as a test bed to see if a multi channel strategy will work. Theory says that Australia is ideally suited as we are 'Western', affluent and small enough so if they stuff it up it doesn't matter. I don't think this is right, as Apple have never done this before. But one day they'll surprise me, I'm sure,” he said.
While doubts fly in the face of an impending Apple iPhone launch, some independent resellers believe Apple will bring the much anticipated product into Australia when it launches its store.
Independent Apple reseller, Ben Morgan owner of the Academy Store, told CRN in March that Apple’s direct model puts “intense pressure on the channel” and its “aggressive market share” is unlike anything independent IT resellers are capable of launching.
At the time Morgan said: “I’m sure when the stores open it will also launch the iPhone. Apple will keep it exclusively and at the sheer sacrifice of people before releasing it to the rest of the channel. What it doesn’t understand is two thirds of my staff and two thirds of my customers have already got an iPhone, through eBay and friends located in the US.”
Former Apple reseller doubts iPhone rumours
By Lilia Guan on Apr 11, 2008 10:14AM