Apple resellers optimistic about new flagship store

Apple resellers optimistic about new flagship store

Thailand's first Apple Store will open at the Iconsiam shopping centre on Saturday.
Thailand's first Apple Store will open at the Iconsiam shopping centre on Saturday.

Retail stores that sell Apple products might be affected in the short term by the opening of Apple Iconsiam, but in the long run, the new store should help the brand broaden its user group, says Trisorn Volyarngosol, managing director of SPVi Plc, an Apple reseller.

Apple has a "one price policy", meaning it costs the same for customers whether they buy at an Apple Store or a reseller, he said.

Apple products make up a major chunk of SPVi's revenue, and it recently focused on the education market by providing learning devices and learning design classrooms to schools and universities.

SPVi also opened "iSolution" experience centre in IT Mall at Fortune Town to allow customers to touch and test the latest technology solutions such as wireless networks, 3D printers, eco-friendly printers and wireless presentation. The aim is to encourage customer purchases.

Sura Khanittaweekul, chief executive of Com7 Plc, said the new Apple Store improves brand recognition.

Com7 is diversifying its product portfolio, relying on more than Apple and its iStudio branches, with most of its outlets in the suburbs and upcountry.

"It is too early to tell how the Apple flagship store will affect retailers, but it will force other brands to focus more on the Iconsiam area," said Paramate Rienjaroensuk, chief executive of Copperwired Co, an Apple reseller via iStudio.

Copperwired manages iStudio branches, aiming to make them different by keying on customer experiences.

The company also has .Life (dotlife) gadget lifestyle shops offering a variety of products. Both iStudio and .Life offer Internet of Things (IoT) devices for smart homes that are compatible with Apple devices.

Copperwired has 20 branches of .Life and plans to add 10 more by 2020, with two offering full IoT solutions at Iconsiam, covering more than 100 square metres. The company also expects to invest some 25 million baht to open a shop at CentralWorld later this year.

Juthamas Tangtatpongsathorn, an analyst at IDC Thailand, said the Apple Store will raise the bar for service, in particular for partners and mobile operators that support Apple products.

The new store reflects that Thailand is one of the largest markets for Apple, with many Thais preferring their premium products, she said.

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