Apple is boosting its Amazon offers with iPhones, iPads and more


The new iPhone XR will soon be available directly through Amazon.

James Martin / CNET

Amazon has signed an agreement to expand the selection of Apple products on its websites worldwide. The world's largest e-commerce company said Friday that it will soon be selling more Apple products directly and accessing the latest devices from Apple, including the new iPad Pro, iPhone XR, iPhone XS and Apple Watch Series 4, as well as the Apple assortment of Beats headphones. The Amazon-Apple deal includes the US, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan and India, with the new products that will hit Amazon sites in the coming weeks.

Only Apple authorized resellers may now sell Apple and Beats products on Amazon's marketplace.

Currently, many of these Apple products are not available on Amazon or can only be purchased through the external marketplace at a variety of prices and conditions. Amazon already sells some Apple devices, such as MacBook laptops and Beats headphones.

"Amazon is constantly working to improve the customer experience, and one of the ways we do this is through the selection of products that we know customers want to increase," an Amazon spokesperson told Friday in a statement. "We look forward to expanding our range of Apple and Beats products worldwide."

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With the new deal, customers would expect a larger selection of new Apple products and standard prices. In addition, the deal is a big win for Amazon just before the Christmas shopping season, giving it more electronics from a leading device maker with highly sought-after products. For Apple, the deal can help to sell more devices worldwide.

The agreement also points to an improvement in relations between the two technological giants, after Amazon removed Apple TV video limbs from its site in 2015 and then brought the devices back last year. Last year at the same time, Amazon said it is also bringing Google's Chromecast streamers back, but they are still not available amid trembling relationships with Google.

"We are working with Amazon to improve the experience for Apple customers on their site," said Apple spokesperson Nick Leahy, "and we look forward to having these customers a great way to connect iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Mac and buy more. "

The timing of the deal raises questions, said eMarketer analyst Andrew Lipsman and added that Amazon & # 39; s less-than-expected revenue in his last quarter it might have been a motivation for the company that was on the way to the holidays. He said that Apple could run some risk in providing sales data to Amazon.

"But the real threat there is in Amazon is to introduce a competing product, I would say that Apple is pretty safe there," he said.

The arrangement contains a few marginal notes. Apple & # 39; s HomePod smart speaker, which competes with Amazon's own Echo devices, is not included. Amazon does not mention the HomePod or the competing Google Home speakers.

"We continually make assortment decisions based on conditions and a host of other factors," said Amazon's spokesman on the omission of the HomePod.

Independent sellers who list new and used Apple products on Amazon will have these listings removed after January 4, 2019. Those vendors must now file an application with Apple to become authorized resellers on Amazon. An e-mail to sellers about this change went out shortly after the deal was signed.

The agreement does not affect the renewed Amazon program, which sells certified, refurbished electronics.

Because of this change, Apple and Amazon have more control over the stock and prices of Apple products. But smaller sellers and people who turn over iPhones right after they're on sale are likely to get hurt by the deal. Customers who shop for used (but not refurbished) Apple products can find a much more limited selection on Amazon. In both cases these vendors and customers will be more inclined to go to competing online sites such as eBay.

Amazon has added more restrictions to its marketplace over the years, making it harder for small sellers to put products on Amazon if they do not work directly with the brands they mention. Amazon introduced a similar partnership with Nike last year allowing both companies to reduce counterfeiting on Amazon and gain more control over unauthorized third-party sales of Nike products.

Independent vendors with Apple inventory in warehouses in Amazon have to make a removal order after January 4, with Amazon repaying the return or removal costs until the beginning of February. Those vendors can no longer send Apple products to Amazon warehouses from December 1st.

First published at 8:04 pm PT. on 9 November.
Updated, 8.55 am, 10.00 am and 12.26 pm PT: Adds more information about the deal's impact on independent sellers, as well as Apple's comments and an analyst.

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