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Apple Bans Online Sales In Japan 237

siddesu writes "Large retail stores in Japan were ordered a week ago to stop selling Apple products online (Google translation; Japanese original). The comments in the Japanese business newspapers suggest that Apple believes online shopping confers an aura of 'cheapness' on its products; but surely killing the Apple store's competition must have entered into the calculation. As of today, most of the largest retailers have notices on their Apple catalog pages asking you to visit the shop if you want to acquire a piece of magic. It seems that for the moment the campaign is aimed at the big fish, as smaller shops still seem to be selling Apple products."
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Apple Bans Online Sales In Japan

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  • Re:What next? (Score:5, Informative)

    by e4g4 ( 533831 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @02:07AM (#32010260)
    You have to sign a lot of papers to sell new Apple products at retail.
  • Re:News of the day (Score:5, Informative)

    by KDR_11k ( 778916 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @02:24AM (#32010436)

    What, banning online sales to force people to buy at retail (and likely from Apple Stores)? It's at least an anti-consumer move.

  • Re:So tell me, (Score:4, Informative)

    by aussie_a ( 778472 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @02:54AM (#32010684) Journal

    Its actually standard. Book publishers want to give you a product early with the understanding you don't break the street date so that EVERYONE can start selling the product on the official release date.

    Adding additional qualifiers is only the next logical step.

  • by Kenja ( 541830 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @03:29AM (#32010874)
    Way it used to be (not seeing anything to indicate that this has changed) resellers of Apple products where not allowed (as per the terms of their contract with Apple) to change the price. So they couldn't offer any discounts. What they could do was offer add ins such as free printers, more memory etc.
  • Re:News of the day (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @04:09AM (#32011076)

    That image you linked...
    "Description: Clydesdales. The horse in the background looks jealous that hes not in front."

    Although, I suppose I'd be "jealous", too, if I had to pull a $VEHICLE all day and had nothing to see but a horse's arse. By jealous, I mean seriously pissed off. Next time it was my turn in front, I'd eat a couple bowls of Mom's awesome chili. >:)

  • Re:What next? (Score:5, Informative)

    by michaelhood ( 667393 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @04:38AM (#32011242)

    Isn't that called price fixing? As I recall, Nintendo has gotten in to hot water [] for this at least once. I think a manufacturer can set an MSRP, but the seller can sell your item for whatever they want. Can a company choose to not fill orders for businesses that don't play by their rules, or is that some form of discrimination?

    this has nothing to do with price fixing - price fixing is an antitrust offense. Like if Dell, HP, and Sony got together in a secret lair and said, "We won't sell any laptops for less than $600. muhaha!" That would be price fixing.

    As for your question, yes- there are tons of companies that won't sell product to you on your terms. From Apple only selling 2 iPads per person, to Canon not providing product to unfavored camera stores.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @05:47AM (#32011654)

    Can still just buy from the Apple store... Which makes alot more sense than buying elsewhere anyway.

  • Re:What next? (Score:2, Informative)

    by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @07:35AM (#32012268) Journal

    >>>If the company you sold it to does something you don't want them to, you can choose to no longer sell to them

    That may be legal elsewhere like Japan, but in the US it violates the Sherman Antitrust Act. It's called collusion and forming a cartel, and the Record Companies were sued by several U.S. States and the US DOJ circa 2000 for violating it. The record companies told discount stores, including Walmart, that selling CDs for less than $12 was unacceptable, and they should either raise prices or be cut off from resupply.

    This process continued throughout the 1990s, until the class-action lawsuit came to the forefront. The record companies knew they were guilty of the crime, so they settled the issue out of court (mailed-out $25 checks to all purchasers of CDs that requested a rebate). The DOJ accepted the resolution.

    If Apple tries this stuff in the US, they will face a similar fate. It may take ten years like the record company case, but eventually they will be caught and stopped.

  • by schnipschnap ( 739127 ) * on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @08:15AM (#32012598)

    Title: Sale of apple products ends across the board -- Apple Inc.'s intentions and Yodobashi Camera

    Yodobashi Camera announced that it will stop selling Apple products on their internet site and their telephone shopping service "moshi moshi Yodobashi". (TL note: moshi moshi is a Japanese word that is used when answering the phone.) Furthermore, sales in (physical, I presume) stores continue.

    According to Yodobashi Camera, "it has come to the state of affairs that we have to stop selling all Apple products, including iPods, MacBooks, iMacs, and related accessories", and furthermore this is "a thing resulting from Apple Inc.'s intentions".

    The service that you can pick up products ordered on from one of their physical stores and their "check if product is available in store" feature are going to be continued for a long time.

    Furthermore, Yodobashi will not comment on matters not publicized on the internets.

    Besides Yodobashi Camera, Bikku Camera, Yamada appliances, and many other major volume sellers alike are stopping the sale of Apple products on the internets. Bikku Camera states that they can't comment on details either, but they display strong posture by saying "because you can also buy over the counter, it's not something that will have that much influence."

    Besides major volume sellers, the Apple-specialized Rakuten stores "Akihabara Mac Collection," "kitcut," and others have stopped selling Apple products. (However, at the time of this writing (April 26), kitcut is still selling Apple products on their own site.) Apart from these stores, you can see many other Rakuten stores either state "not in stock" or that they have stopped selling Apple products. It is a matter of life and death for all internet shops that don't have a physical store.

    And naturally, while internet stores across the board have stopped selling Apple products, Apple's own online store continues to sell products. Apart from the Apple Store, the foreign company still sells just like before.

    Furthermore, Apple hasn't - as of April 26 - released any official statements regarding this matter, [didn't get this part of the last sentence - help is appreciated].

  • Re:What next? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Heian-794 ( 834234 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @09:13AM (#32013152) Homepage

    If Japan *were* to somehow amalgamate with the US, the 47 prefectures, each of which has a population of roughly one-third to one-half of the typical US state, would become the 51st to 97th states.

    Why is it that when people want to point out that Country X is an independent nation and not part of the USA, they always make an entire country equal to one single US state? Is it just because they can't be bothered to find out how many states/provinces/prefectures Country X actually has?

    If Japan *did* become the 51st state, the State of Japan would get more than twice as many electoral votes as California, and would thus quickly come to dominate all presidential elections, as well as the House of Representatives. Demagogues like Tokyo mayor Shintaro Ishihara and incompetents like Prime Ministers Yukio Hatoyama and Yoshiro Mori would become major US political figures. If you thought Bush and Obama were trouble, wait until you meet these guys...

    At least we Mac users in Japan would get to buy our stuff from various retailers, though. And we could pay cheap domestic shipping!

  • by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @09:54AM (#32013732) Homepage

    Surely the best way to deal with an 'aura of cheapness' is to raise the price of the product.

    Their slogan could be: "Apple, reassuringly expensive".

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.