Amazon and Apple are teaming up to own holiday sales

A powerful pairing.
A powerful pairing.
Image: REUTERS/Stephen Lam
We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Amazon and Apple have partnered up so that consumers can now buy Apple products directly from Amazon, CNET reported Nov. 9.

A deal between the e-commerce giant and the largest tech company in the world would be notable any time of the year, but the fact that it happened in November is especially telling. The Western holiday shopping season has just kicked off, and with massive holiday sales like Black Friday and Cyber Monday just two weeks away, Amazon has given customers another reason to turn to its site instead of facing massive crowds at brick-and-mortar stores.

Apple products have mainly only been available from third-party sellers on Amazon, meaning that the reliability of shipping, and the products’ prices, could vary. As part of the deal, only Apple-authorized resellers or Apple itself will now be allowed to sell Apple or Beats products on Amazon. (Independent sellers must seek approval by Jan. 4, 2019 or be removed, a huge blow to many independent computer repairers.) The new partnership applies to the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, and India, and products will be available within the coming weeks.

Stocking up on Apple inventory during the holiday season is a smart move, especially as increasingly more people shop online. In 2017, consumers spent a record $14.49 billion in online sales from Thanksgiving Day through to Cyber Monday, research by Adobe Analytics found. And according to Adobe’s report, Apple products were amongst the bestselling electronics in holiday sales last year.

Since Amazon can capitalize on demand for Apple products, and Apple can capitalize on Amazon’s online reach, this partnership could mean a significant boost in revenue for both brands. That being said, Apple could potentially be cannibalizing some of its own revenue, if customers choose to buy Apple products from Amazon, instead of its own site, for sake of convenience.

Amazon has already unveiled a host of deals that are available now, but it has yet to announce whether it will also offer discounts on its incoming Apple products. However, considering the popularity of these devices, and the fact that big-box stores like Target, Walmart, and Best Buy will also offer deals on Apple products, it seems possible that Amazon will follow suit.

Notably, the deal excludes some Apple products, such as the HomePod smart speaker, which competes with Amazon’s own Echo smart speakers. “We make assortment decisions all the time, based on terms and a large number of other factors,” Amazon’s spokesperson told CNET about leaving out the HomePod.

Still, that probably won’t be enough to deter consumers from going to Amazon for other recently releasedproducts, such as the iPad Pro, iPhone Xr, and Apple Watch Series 4. It helps, too, that Amazon has already sweetened the deal with free shipping on all orders this holiday season.