Apple Watch UAE price dive does not signal hard launch: JadoPado
Normalised prices represent ‘natural competition’ in grey market, e-retailer’s CEO tells ITP.net
The recent nosedive in Apple Watch grey-market prices in the UAE is a sign of "natural competition" rather than an indication of overstock or an imminent official launch of the Cupertino company's wearable device, online marketplace JadoPado told ITP.net.
Last week ITP.net conducted a pricing analysis on six Apple Watch models offered on JadoPado and found mark-ups to be about one tenth of what they were just two months ago. Some models were even cheaper than corresponding devices on the UK Apple Store website. At the end of April, third-party merchants selling on JadoPado were pricing the Apple Watch with premiums as high as 258%, but on Thursday that figure was, on average, 29%.
Despite hinting that he believed a regional hard launch for the Apple Watch "should be happening pretty soon", Omar Kassim, chief executive officer of JadoPado, said that anxiety among grey merchants of official availability had not played a part in dropping price tags.
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"It's natural competition in the wholesale channel and a combination of increased supply being able to meet demand, therefore driving prices downwards," Kassim told ITP.net via email. "We're seeing some models continuing to maintain premiums (e.g. the Milanese Loop variants), while others have fallen."
Asked if overstocking of the Apple Watch could have had a hand in the falling prices, he said: "I don't think we're in an overstock situation just yet."
When third-party merchants started selling the Watch at inflated prices in April, Kassim told this website: "While we love working with distributors and brands, and do with some great ones such as FitBit, unfortunately a number of them haven't realised that a different strategy is required for e-commerce in terms of pricing, range and availability."
He still believes that some distributors "need to think about their pricing and SKU strategy specifically when they're looking at e-commerce as a channel".
"I think that unfortunately a number of distributors haven't realised that the early adopter segment has already moved on to buying from anyone, anywhere, with it boiling down to a combination of availability, pricing and transit time," he said. "And over time, other segments are gradually shifting towards this as well. The competition isn't the distributor, retailer or brand next door; you're competing with everyone out there."