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Apple ripe to expand Mac sales to UK's largest phone retailer

post #1 of 24
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Apple is believed to have tapped iPhone reseller and largest independent European mobile phone retailer Carphone Warehouse to help push sales of Macs in the United Kingdom.

People close to the retailer tell AppleInsider that a plethora of Mac-related placeholders have recently turned up in the company's inventory system, suggesting a plan may be in place for some Carphone Warehouse-operated outlets to begin selling the Apple-made computers and accessories ahead of the holiday shopping season.

Among the items currently listed as "new" in inventory -- but not in stock -- are MacBooks, MacBook Airs, MacBook Pros, Apple power adapters, MacBook replacement batteries, MacBook Air Super Drives, Time Capsules, AirPorts, AirPort Extreme cards, the Mighty Mouse, Mobile Me, and, oddly, Mac minis and 20- and 24-inch iMac desktop systems.

Carphone Warehouse is presently locked in a market share battle for PC sales with local rival PC World, but doesn't yet sell desktop systems. Instead, it markets its own brand of 'webbook' notebook in addition to mainstream models from manufacturers such as Acer, HP, and Toshiba. The retailer has recently been in talks to expand its computer offerings, however.

Part of the plan may have its roots in a recent investment in the company by US specialty electronics chain and stalwart Apple ally Best Buy. Together, the two retailers are said to be prepping a series of new "big box" locations in Europe that will stock everything from gaming consoles to big-screen HDTVs. The inventory systems of the two may overlap, though the new stores aren't slated to open until next year.

In time, Carphone Warehouse plans to expand those new electronic ranges (consoles and TVs) to some 800 UK stores, according to people familiar with the situation. In total, the retailer operates more than 1,700 stores across Europe, with some outside the UK branded as "Phone House" locations.

Like staffers at US-based Best Buy locations, it appears as if Carphone Warehouse salespeople -- or employees that will eventually staff the company's big box locations -- will undergo Apple authorized training. Among the items listed in the retailer's systems is something called "AppleCare technical training," or a code that's been set up so that it can be 'sold' to an employee at no cost once they've completed the required instructional classes.

Apple said earlier this year that it maintains over are 9,500 Mac distribution points, up from 7,700 a year earlier. Should Macs inevitably turn up in 800 Carphone Warehouse locations in addition to the planned high volume shops, it would represent a more than 8 percent increase in retail Mac accessibility worldwide.

A photo of iMac placeholders in Carphone Warehouse's inventory system.

A photo of various MacBook placeholders in Carphone Warehouse's inventory system.

A photo of various Apple accessory placeholders in Carphone Warehouse's inventory system.

MacBook Airs listed as "new" in the Carphone Warehouse system.

More accessories and replacement parts.

Even more accessories.

The Mac maker has already established a working relationship with Carphone Warehouse, who along with wireless partner O2 accounts for a significant portion of iPhone sales throughout the UK.

Sources close to Carphone Warehouse say, to their recollection, that placeholders have never turned up in the retailer's inventory systems and then failed to materialize into product offerings. The time between items first appearing in the systems and the time they're available for sale can typically take up to a month, they added.
post #2 of 24
Totally true!!

My friend works there and has just been drooling over the new Macbook. Going to send me a picture over shortly.
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post #3 of 24
I seriously hope they aren't going to get the old(current) models that are represented in the screenshots.

PS: No love for Mac Pro!
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post #4 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Underhill View Post

Totally true!!

My friend works there and has just been drooling over the new Macbook. Going to send me a picture over shortly.

Ok i lied about the Macbook drooling bit but the story is true.

Although he does say they won't be getting stocks until Xmas. \
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post #5 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

In time, Carphone Warehouse plans to expand those new electronic ranges (consoles and TVs) to some 800 UK stores, according to people familiar with the situation. In total, the retailer operates more than 1,700 stores across Europe, with those outside the UK branded as "Phone House" locations.

The ones in Ireland are called Carphone Warehouse as well.
post #6 of 24
this is cpws's operating software called "pie" and having worked for them these screen shots are not fake or done on photoshop. it was inevitable that they would be selling macs as they have linked up with best buy already and are expanding with best buy here in uk and europe and are the only place to get an iphone here other than o2/apple stores so not really a surprise but now we have the evidence..
post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfanning View Post

The ones in Ireland are called Carphone Warehouse as well.

Yeah, there's at least 1 Carphone Warehouse in every medium sized (to big) City here. Perhaps Ireland will finally get their Apple stores after all, even if they aren't the real thing.
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post #8 of 24
Nice user interface. Reminds me of DOS. Depressing, really. I bet the keyboard is super grubby.
post #9 of 24
Makes sense. Apple should push Macs through their iPhone outlets to capitalise on the iphone halo which would probably be stronger than the iPod halo.

McD
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post #10 of 24
I used to work for the CPW in Ireland. Those screenshots just jolted me with some terrible flashbacks...

I think I need a beer now.


Seriously, if Apple want to fuck up the buying experience of getting a new Mac, then it would be a fantastic idea to utilise the drones at CPW.
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post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by lostkiwi View Post

I used to work for the CPW in Ireland. Those screenshots just jolted me with some terrible flashbacks...

I think I need a beer now.

Seriously, if Apple want to fuck up the buying experience of getting a new Mac, then it would be a fantastic idea to utilise the drones at CPW.

110% agree. CPW in London is shit. End of story. I've wrote about it many times in these here forums, so I won't repeat myself.

What to do? The UK & Ireland will have these retards sell Macs. The USA has Best Buy the f*k the Mac experience. Malaysia's got Machines "Apple Premium Reseller", "Mac City", etc which is next to rubbish. London resellers and other Apple "Premium" Resellers around the world aren't that great, as far as I can see. The iPhone 3G is now sold by AT&T in the USA and over 50 different reseller chains *around the world*- the telco retail branches.

Looks like it is the end of an era of the new, great Apple Retail experience. They had a good run, of say, 6 years? From around 2002 to 2008.

From a global perspective, it's back to something like San Francisco in 2000. Walking into a little section at CompUSA on Market Street and trying to get a Mac, peripherals and software. From a global perspective, you're more likely to encounter a poorer Apple product purchasing experience like the CompUSA one back in the day.

I'm happy for Apple, honestly, to fulfill the needs of many people. No one on this planet really comes close to the size, focus and quality of the official Apple Stores in the USA and UK. The retail industry is generally quite a nonsense industry, unless you're somehow a big shareholder and not have to be in the shop from morning to night.

Thank you Apple for 2002 to 2008, where you paved the way for many innovations. In terms of the "on the ground, retail" experience. But now, it is consistently being handed off to many resellers, like pre-2002. So, it was a nice run. Maybe in the next few years.

I strongly encourage anyone around the world, as far as possible, to deal directly in all things with Apple official Stores, websites, and so on. Just from personal experience, just my humble opinion.
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by McDave View Post

Makes sense. Apple should push Macs through their iPhone outlets to capitalise on the iphone halo which would probably be stronger than the iPod halo.

McD

Just keep in mind the buying experience will deteriorate signficantly. A risk which Apple is willing to bear, I am sure, it's just that it has to fallback to its product quality, online resources, and Mac user community to continue Mac sales growth.
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by lostkiwi View Post

I used to work for the CPW in Ireland. Those screenshots just jolted me with some terrible flashbacks...

I think I need a beer now.


Seriously, if Apple want to fuck up the buying experience of getting a new Mac, then it would be a fantastic idea to utilise the drones at CPW.

As opposed to not being Apple to see Apple hardware elsewhere? Why so angry?
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post #14 of 24
First time I read it I read "Carphone Whorehouse" LOL!
post #15 of 24
Great, that's all we need someone else selling Macs in the UK who doesn't know what they are talking about.

What we need is more Apple Stores.
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post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

As opposed to not being Apple to see Apple hardware elsewhere? Why so angry?

I guess Messiah & nvidia say it really well:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Messiah View Post

Great, that's all we need someone else selling Macs in the UK who doesn't know what they are talking about.

What we need is more Apple Stores.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Just keep in mind the buying experience will deteriorate signficantly.

I'm not really angry... Certainly not like a lot of the desktop warriors you see on many other forums. Hakuna Matata I say.

I believe buying and using your first Mac should be a great experience. I don't want to sound like a fanboy,.. but I spent too long watching my former colleagues ruin someone's day. Of course, it can and probably does happen in Apple Stores, but at least you can be secure in the knowledge that the person trying to serve you in the Apple Store might know more about Macs than just how to how to turn one on.
Aren't Apple Stores meant to be the model for the retail industry now?
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..... the greatest fame comes from adding to human knowledge, not winning battles.
Paraphrased from Napolean Bonaparte, 1798
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post #17 of 24
sure i would like to see an Apple Store on every corner, but they are not 7-Elevens that you can pop up anywhere you can find 70m2. It takes years to locate, plan, build and hire/train staff each apple store. (The Sydney store took about 3 years). The bottom line is that long term apple customers are going to benefit from this increased apple streetside exposure in brand name chains like bestbuy, CPW and in australia's case ... JB, Myer, David Jones and Harvey Norman. The surging apple customer base will bring more developers, apps, accessories and support. Further, as volume increases apple has more ability to lower prices and spend more on R&D.

The glass is definitely half full.
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Yeah, there's at least 1 Carphone Warehouse in every medium sized (to big) City here. Perhaps Ireland will finally get their Apple stores after all, even if they aren't the real thing.

You been able to get to the Belfast one yet?

I managed a flying visit last week, quite nice, the surrounding area is pretty far removed from the Belfast I remember. I can see why they chose the area.

--

Macs in CPW though, mmm. don't know where some of those shops will find ROOM. they have a tendency to be very cramped IMO.
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post #19 of 24
I've only ever (3-4 times) had good experiences with buying phones at Carphone Warehouse - certainly, far better than I've had at carriers' own stores. I do wonder about the available display space in most Carphone Warehouses, though.

I wonder if Apple are planning to meet the netbook challenge by making 3G data connectivity standard across all laptops? If so, this is a good move, and opens up the possibility of bundling data services with a wider range of carriers than the iPhone currently works with.
post #20 of 24
Does this have anything to do with Best Buy taking a large stake in the catfood whorehouse I wonder?

Telegraph article
post #21 of 24
What I find interesting is that Apple are significantly increasing the number of mac outlets across the world. This parallels what happened with the iPod 5 years ago. The Apple Stores may be a great experience but other vendors provide buying opportunities that otherwise might not happen. It will make a big difference if like the iPod every major electronic shop want to carry AND sell Macs. We hear about sales people turning customers off Macs but once they realize they can get more commission promoting Macs then the situation will turn around very quickly.
post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter Slocombe View Post

You been able to get to the Belfast one yet?

Belfast what?

Oh I get it.
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post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by webweasel View Post

Does this have anything to do with Best Buy taking a large stake in the catfood whorehouse I wonder?

Clearly you didn't read the full article.
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post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by DogGone View Post

What I find interesting is that Apple are significantly increasing the number of mac outlets across the world. This parallels what happened with the iPod 5 years ago. The Apple Stores may be a great experience but other vendors provide buying opportunities that otherwise might not happen.

This is pretty much my view on the matter. Availability is better that nothing, despite how shitty the customer service could possibly be.

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