Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Partnership Continues: Apple iPad Now Available from Third-Party Sellers on Amazon

We'll say it again: far more than they are competitors, the real bottom line is that Amazon and Apple are partners. We've already discussed the primary ways in which Amazon will make millions (and eventually billions) via the iPad, and here are some more.

Third-party sellers are now selling Apple's new iPad on Amazon's website, but at least for now it's no "Big Deal." The lowest third-party price for the base 16GB wifi model,  as I post this note, is about $125 higher than the price at which the same model is available in the Apple Store. Even if you add in $6.49 for shipping and subtract sales tax in a back of the envelope comparison with the price you would pay directly to Apple, you would still be out a hundred bucks or so. Nearly all of the third-party sellers offering iPads at prices between $600 and $1,000 are low-volume or "just launched" sellers, and they may be hoping for some arbitrage profit if Apple happens to run out of iPads.

However, I'll be watching closely to see if Amazon itself becomes an iPad seller, which I do expect to happen soon. Amazon has been very successful at selling the various iPod Touch models, usually at prices slightly lower than those available from Apple. Even if an Amazon offering of the iPad were to be priced at par with the Apple Store's offering, the combination of a sales tax differential and Amazon's no-hassle 30-day return policy could make it a better deal for many prospective buyers.

Meanwhile, the Amazon Store may already be the best place to shop for iPad accessories like these:

Targus Hughes Leather Portfolio Slipcase Designed for 9.7 Inch Apple iPad TES00701US (Brown) (left, $59.99)

Apple  Wireless Keyboard - $69 - I've been  using one with the iPad for a couple of days and loving it

13-Item  Accessories Bundle for Apple iPad Tablet Wifi / 3G skin case, sleeve,  earphone, screen protector, crystal case, FM transmitter, speaker, cable  + more


 Be.ez 100884 LA robe Allure Sleeve for New iPad (Red Kiss) (left, $29.99)

Apple   iPad Car Charger (White)

Scratch  Defense Neoprene Sleeve for the Apple iPad

Belkin  F8N277tt Pleated Sleeve for iPad - Black

Marware  Sport Grip Pro for iPad Black/Black (left, $34.99)

Macally MSUITPAD Silicon Protective Case for iPad

Shade Anti-glare Film for iPad

Hard Candy Cases Sleek Skin for Apple iPad - Orange

Marware Eco-Vue for iPad

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