SA resellers stick to iPad prices
Cape Town - Resellers of the Apple iPad have indicated that they will stick to the recommended retail price, as determined by the Core Group, official distributors of the popular tablet said.
"We took a tempered approach to the launch of the iPad and we're sticking to the recommended retail price," Apple reseller Digicape's spokesperson told News24.
While he acknowledged that there weren't long queues around the store as in other countries where the iPad was released, he said that there have been several enquiries on buying the product over the last year.
When the iPad was released in countries like Australia and South Korea, Apple fans formed long queues to be the first in their country to own the sought-after touch screen device.
Digicape said it would be highly surprising if the bigger retailers sold the iPad at a lower price.
"No we wouldn't be surprised if they sold it [iPad] at a lower price, but we don't expect it now. If they did it now, I would be quite surprised," said the spokesperson.
Reseller Incredible Connection agreed that few South Africans were queuing to get their hands on the device.
"There are no queues yet, but we had very short notice. We only knew on Wednesday," Incredible Connection CEO Dave Miller told News24.
The iPad faces stiff competition internationally from firms like Dell and notably BlackBerry maker RIM, but those devices still have a long way to go to eat into the iPad's market dominance. It is estimated that Apple has sold about 14 million iPads globally.
There are also strong indications that an iPad 2 will be announced in the US soon and this may hurt local sales as those who want the device may decide to purchase it through unofficial channels.
Miller, though, dismissed suggestions that the updated iPad would hurt local sales.
"There's huge demand and people will still buy it. From an Apple point of view, it can't be linked to a long-term contract."
Digicape said that competitors would not hurt the iPad.
"We get no inside information on strategy and products. It's only after a product is announced that we can begin negotiations.
"The iPod wasn't the only MP3 player on the market, and while I'm passionate about Apple products, RIM might come up with a really great product," said the spokesperson.
"They'll [competing products] carve out a niche, but the iPad will still dominate. Like with the iPod and iPhone, there are many MP3 players out there and several smartphones, but people still want the Apple product," Miller said.
"Ultimately the consumer will answer the question" of what device will win the tablet battle, added the Digicape spokesperson.
The 16GB iPad has a recommended price of R4 399 and ranges up to R7 599 for the 64GB one with Wi-Fi.
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