The Industry

Amazon Will Finally Start Selling Apple Products—Except for the One It Wants to Beat

You'll find the Apple IPhone XR on Amazon now.
You’ll find the Apple IPhone XR on Amazon now. Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images

For years, the world’s biggest online store and the world’s most valuable company have avoided each other like bitter ex-roommates. Now, finally, Amazon has struck a deal to start selling a wide array of Apple products, including the latest iPads, iPhones, and Apple Watches, CNET reports. The Apple-owned headphones company Beats will also begin offering its products through the e-commerce giant as well. The new deal applies to Amazon customers in the U.S., U.K., Spain, India, and other countries worldwide.

Before the deal, Apple products were only available on Amazon via third-party resellers, who are not officially approved by the manufacturer, and whose merchandise is often inconsistent in quality and price. Going forward, Apple products on Amazon will come directly from the company or sellers that it has expressly authorized—similar to the arrangement that Amazon has with Nike. Current third-party resellers will be unable to sell such products after Jan. 4 and will have to apply to Apple for authorization. However, people will still be able to buy refurbished devices through Amazon’s Renewed program.

The one Apple product that won’t be available through this deal is the HomePod, a smart speaker that directly competes with Amazon’s Echo. Amazon doesn’t sell Google’s Home speaker either. Research firms have estimated that the Echo, once the dominant product in the smart speaker market, may soon lose its edge over competitors.

Despite that rivalry, though, CNET notes that the new deal may indicate that relations between Amazon and Apple are beginning to warm again. The two tech giants had previously sparred over their streaming services. In 2015, Amazon pulled Apple TV from its catalog after Apple had blocked the release of a Prime Video app. The companies compromised last year.

Amazon gave a statement to the Verge: “Amazon is constantly working to enhance the customer experience, and one of the ways we do this is by increasing selection of the products we know customers want.” Anything they want, that is, but an Apple speaker.