Have2have, the leading unauthorised importer of iPads into South Africa before the Core Group began officially distributing the tablet computer on Friday, has gone on the offensive, warning consumers against buying the current version.And they have with immediate effect stopped selling the old iPad.
Have2Have announced this morning that they will stop importing the iPad to South Africa with immediate effect ‚ not because the official distributor is now bringing them in, but because it believes the new version is imminent.
‚Industry experts are predicting that the Apple iPad 2 could be available for purchase within a few weeks. Not only is it rumoured to feature front and rear-facing cameras, and a Retina Display, but it will more than likely retail at the price of the first-generation device,‚ says Simon Swanich, co-founder of Have2Have.
Despite the fact that there is no clear date for the announcement, and that actual release usually follows more than three months after the announcement, Swanich argues that iPad-hungry South African buyers should wait to see what Apple announces next month, as the new features of the Apple iPad 2 could impact on the effectiveness of the older model.
‚While it is just about impossible to stay on the bleeding-edge of technology, I believe that by waiting a few days for the announcement, South African buyers would be able to make a more informed decision whether they want a state-of-the-art device or one that has been available to many overseas markets for almost a year. With this in mind, sales of the current generation Apple iPad have already been terminated via www.have2have.co.za.
“This is in line with our longstanding policy of terminating sales and advising consumers in advance of official product announcements. We never have to dump stock on unsuspecting customers as we keep no stock on hand,‚ he adds.
It is clear, however, that the Have2have announcement is a positioning statement ‚ trying to create a competing position to the Core Group becoming the main source of iPads. This is evident from the announcement coming immediately after the official release of the iPad in South Africa. Since not even the Core Group has inside information on the release date of the second version of the iPad, the warning contains more speculation than fact.
This poitioning also ignores the support structures put in place by Core for the release of the iPad here. Have2have, like similar suppliers, does not offer support for the iPad, and it comes without a warranty. The terms and conditions on its web site states, in answer to the question, ‚Can you include a warranty service, where Have2Have is responsible for repairs and exchanges?‚ : ‚Have2Have offered this service in the past, when we changed the policy, due to an overwhelming request on the part of our visitors, we immediately discounted our service fee by 8%, if we were to change the policy again we would need to raise our fees. We believe there are tons of companies charging the higher price and offering the service. We want to be different and offer the lowest priced goods to your door. We want to be like a friend who is always going overseas and willing to bring back goods for you. However just like when you ask your friend to bring an item back from holiday for you, he/she cannot hold the responsibility of the warranty.‚
Have2Have and other South African online outlets like WantItAll and eDreams have for some time been importing the iPad from retailers in the United States. Since they buy in bulk, they minimise shipping costs, but still have to add a substantial margin to the devices. This is the main reason their iPad prices are typically 33% or more higher than those announced by the Core Group on Friday (iPad now cheaper in SA than Europe).
The business models of all these sites are similar: they accumulate sales over a few days, and then place orders in the United States for delivery to a central American address. From there it is shipped in bulk to South Africa. Consequently, the sites keep little stock of such items ‚ except where a rush of demand is expected, as happened initially with the iPad. The result is that no stock is kept in hand once a product has been on the market for some time, and an item can be discontinued with immediate effect. Read more about the Apple iPad announcement here: Apple iPad hits SA ‚ iStores braced for rush