7/2/2009 12:58:00 PM
'Approved' dealers handed chance to sell the iPhone
O2 will make its coveted iPhone available for dealers to sell, and has initially appointed Avenir and Fone Logistics as distributors for the Apple device from 1 July.
The operator’s new indirect channel of ‘approved dealers’ will have access to the iPhone, and will be a godsend for dealers struggling to hold on to customers who want an iPhone.
The new channel will intially consist of Avenir’s 20 approved dealers and Fone Logistics’ 10 dealers affiliated to the distributors. Stock will start shipping from this week.
Many dealers from rival distributors are expected to apply for distribution accounts with Avenir and Fone Logistics.
O2’s top tier direct dealers, known as ‘Centre of Excellence’ partners, have been selling iPhones since November 2007.
A spokeswoman for O2 said: ‘We have also made it available to partners who have made a market share commitment, including the new approved partners.’
O2 had previously been concerned about Apple’s sensitivity to third
parties using its branding, and it is believed there are advert guidelines
used by dealers for the iPhone.
It extends the distribution of iPhones from O2’s direct store, web and telesales channels as well as Carphone Warehouse and direct business dealers.
One senior figure from a Centre of Excellence said: ‘We were always aware we would have exclusivity of the product for a period. No one ever thought that we would have exclusive access forever and so far it has been fantastic.’