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Apple Online Store launches in the Philippines: What happens to local distributors?

It’s no secret that the Apple Online Store has been officially launched in the Philippines. I’m excited. Now I no longer have to leave the comfort of my home to buy Apple products. A move like this points to a great future for online purchasing and delivery in the Philippines. With orders above P3,000, delivery is free.

The online store has a set of coveted features, including the highly coveted iPod engraving for ultimate personalization.

The Apple Online Store brings something else on the table – competition. Now we have a benchmark as to how much an Apple product can cost vis a vis the other official and unoffical distributors (hehe).

I have a question though – and if you work for an exclusive Apple retailer or distributor (PowerMac, The A Store, Digital Hub, Mobile1, etc), you might want to chime in. How does this affect Apple’s relationship with their established gold distributors? Will they be bringing competition to the table, or do they have some sort of partnership in this online endeavor? And here’s an example — the benefits of ordering an iPod online (free engraving!!!) outweigh retailers’ benefits, that is if you can afford to pay 100% cash. It also works if you want to heavily customize* your Macs before you buy them.

At the end of the day, retailers will be forced to come up with better promos (and freebies!) which is all good for the consumers!

* Footnote: I’m a little disappointed that DELL didn’t see the potential of the online store in the Philippines and went 100% retail. The build before you buy feature for the DELL online store in the USA made it such a winner product. We don’t have that here. Oh well. You snooze, you lose.