Global technology giant Apple hopes for a bigger bite of the markets across the world with a new sales deal with one of the world's top e-commerce player Amazon.
The Cupertino, California-based company will begin selling its popular products like iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch on Amazon's website in the Indian market and other global markets.
As part of the deal, Amazon proposes to delist Apple and Beats products sold by non-authorised resellers, allowing Apple to exert more control over the online sales channel.
A statement released by Apple said the company was working with Amazon to improve the experience for its customers on their site. Though Amazon might directly carry Apple products on its websites in the international markets, only Apple-authorised resellers will sell Apple products on Amazon India. This is because of regulatory restrictions in the country, the statement says.
The Apple-authorised resellers in India include Reliance Digital, Croma and Sangeetha, which are mostly offline sellers and compete with Amazon. Infibeam has been the only authorized online reseller of Apple products in India.
Some observers feel the partnership could help Apple take on challenger Chinese smartphone maker OnePlus, which has used Amazon to become one of the leading players in the realm of premium smartphones.
Amazon India's Apple deal would be a counter to rival Flipkart's deal to sell Google Pixel devices. Estimates show that Flipkart has been selling more Apple phones than Amazon until now.
There is a speculation that iPhone's online and offline price difference could narrow down with the removal of third-party sellers. If this happened, Amazon could come under a fair amount of pressure in its attempt to increase its market share over major rivals.
Apple, however, in the past has said it will not control pricing of its devices. The issue had cropped up when offline retailers complained to Apple that online retailers were severely undercutting the prices of iPhones and other devices, leading to a massive drop in sales for them.
A better visibility in the Indian market through the Amazon deal is expected to boost Apple sales that dropped to half in the quarter that ended in September. The deal will come into force after the holiday season in January.
Some analysts have quoted Apple CEO Tim Cook as saying "Our business in India in Q4 was flat. Obviously, we would have liked to see huge growth." Analysts believe that higher iPad and Mac sales in India helped the global giant post flat sales growth, offsetting the dip in iPhone sales.