Ruslan Kogan, the entrepreneur behind the eponymously titled online-only made-to-order TV manufacturer, has attacked bricks-and-mortar retailers, calling them "Apple's bitch".
In a rant at traditional highstreet stores, using Australian retail giant JB Hi-Fi as an example, the CEO and founder of Kogan claims that Apple - which launched the iPad 2 yesterday (2 March) - is waiting for the right time to pull the plug on its third-party distribution network, and take complete control over the sales of its own products. In the meantime, the Cupertino company is using external retailers to grow:
“You may not know it yet, but the biggest retailers in Australia are Apple’s bitch,” he said. “The biggest bricks and mortar retailers are relying on the genius of Apple to stay alive. But what would happen if Apple decided that it could make more money by selling direct through its own stores or online store, rather than meet that third-party distribution network?”
He also claimed that many stores owe a large percentage of their turnovers to Apple, but see little in the way of after sales. JB Hi-Fi, he stated, based on information given to him by local investment bankers, relies on Apple to the tune of 30 per cent of its sales, yet never hears from a customer again after they've bought their iOS device, thanks to the iTunes ecosystem.
It is because of this that retailers will be in trouble when Apple inevitably decides to go it alone: "Apple is silently waiting for the perfect moment to pull the pin on its third-party distribution network," he said. "It might be next year that I stand here and say, I told you so, it might be the year after, but make no mistake about it, the time will come when Apple pulls out, and that may well be the end of bricks and mortar as we know it."
Is Ruslan Kogan right? Or is it a Charlie Sheen moment... Is he bi-winning? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below...