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The Apple-Amazon Deal, What It Means And Why It’s Bad For Consumers


The news is out- Apple and Amazon has announced that they will form a partnership where Apple is now authorized to sell official Apple products. The deal may be somewhat mundane (after all, Amazon is a large e-retail shop and its number of available products is colossal anyway), but it’s a move that carries serious repercussions for you, the consumer and third party resellers alike. January of this year marks the attempt for monopolization by the tech giant.

In 2018, the two companies met and the result was that Amazon could now list Beats and various Apple products. In return, Amazon had to start removing non-authorized Apple product resellers for both new and refurbished offerings on its virtual marketplace.

It’s worthy to note that almost all of these refurbished Apple devices come from recycling. Moreover, it’s a niche that seems to thrive, as most budget-conscious individuals would rather buy a used, repaired or second-hand ­­Apple unit than get it at launch at outrageous prices. Apple has probably realized that they’re missing out on a slice of the refurbished pie, brokered a deal and is now inching their way towards more profits.

How Will Consumers Be Affected?

Consumers should be aware of the subtle shift of profit power from 3rd parties back to Apple. Before, it’s easy to get your hands on a premium branded device at a significantly marked-down price when you buy used or refurbished. Finding a good iPhone or iPad was simply a matter of finding a reseller, paying and waiting for the electronic item to arrive at your doorstep. With the restrictions set in place, you may suddenly find yourself without any option but to buy a new iPhone at the official Apple store. Not only is this counter-intuitive to the whole refurbished market, but it limits your consumer choice down to just several items.

This deal effectively makes Apple have zero competition in the Amazon landscape. It’s a classic monopoly where the big business has sole control over a marketplace (in this case, Amazon). The tech giant then goes on to defend itself, saying that a monopoly was an absolute necessity to keep product quality and brand integrity high. Moreover, Apple claims that putting the reseller platform under their wing would serve to eliminate the potential of hackers, fake or knock-off products from circulating. You’d think that less fake items would make the world a better place, but there’s a small hitch to this. Most of these 3rd party resellers are honest-to-goodness merchants who make a living selling Apple products where there was a void. These are legit, small businesses who make a living selling authentic electronic goods and refurbished items. The deal is a death-knell for businesses who will have to take their shop somewhere else.

How The Deal Affects Resellers

The new deal signed by giants Apple and Amazon will put an immense strain on small businesses who make a living selling reused and refurbished Apple products. And you can bet, that the revenue streams for many companies, will slow down to a trickle as Apple lays on the thumbscrews to force them to comply or take their shop elsewhere.

Plunc (based in the UK) is one of the companies that will have to conform and become an Authorized Apple Reseller if they want to keep operating. Amazon has already removed Apple listings as of January 4. Other such companies from the UK, US, France, Spain, Japan, India will be affected by deal.

Apple offers third party resellers to sign up under their Renew Program. The only caveat is that those merchants must already be moving thousands of Apple units each month and can meet the stringent requirements and regulations. While the intention is there, the problem is that not everyone can measure up and they’ll have to relocate virtual shop.

Conclusion

It’s plain to see that Apple is trying to move in and take a piece of the refurbished pie. In the same manner, the tech giant is looking to discredit those who’ve already established themselves on the Amazon marketplace. It’s a classic “join us or die” move where you’re forced to pay into the system but your revenue will be taking a significant hit.

Analysts will say that Apple made this move to try and earn sales thru the refurbished market, and they may very well be right. Not everyone can afford expensive smart phones year in and year out. Discerning consumers are looking to extend their current devices’ lifespan or upgrade to a new model that has a lower price tag. Others want less e-waste and have decided that they’ll only buy used or refurbished Apple products as a way to save the environment.

Plunc is one of the UK’s most trusted online recyclers. Allowing consumers to sell everything from old iPhones to Apple Watches.

About the author

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Milana Rose, AppLecture news editor. Kind, sympathetic and very inquisitive person, who loves to help people with the "computer", and not only those challenges sufficiently due to her knowledge. Hobbies - Apple products, drawing, dancing, swimming, a healthy lifestyle. In a private use - MacBook Air, iPad 2, iPhone 4, iPod Nano 5, iPod touch, Mac Mini.
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