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iPhone 5 Brings Big Opportunities to Retailers and Manufacturers

The entire CE industry can leverage success of iPhone 5

October 17, 2012 By Bill Stewart, president and CEO, Petra Industries
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In the first 24 hours of its release, more than two million orders were placed for the iPhone 5. These lightning-speed pre-orders quickly struck down Apple’s previous record of one million first-day pre-orders for the iPhone 4S last October. While it’s very easy to find this impressive, some may find it difficult to see opportunity in another company’s achievement. But by further expanding into the wireless accessory segment of the CE marketplace, retailers and manufacturers can translate some of Apple’s sales success into their own.
For retailers, one of the most significant changes unveiled with the iPhone 5 is the Lightning connector. Eighty percent smaller than the previous 30-pin connector, the new Lightning connector renders obsolete many of the iPhone accessories consumers own. Although consumers can choose to buy the $29 adapter from Apple to use with their existing iPhone accessories, many will likely opt to purchase new accessories all together. Retailers who understand this potential and prepare by stocking new iPhone 5 accessories will definitely reap the rewards.
The iPhone 5 will also significantly increase the demand for Bluetooth offerings such as headsets, headphones, speakerphones, hands-free car kits and speakers. With the new Lightning connector, manufacturers will have to update their entire selection of docking units, while continuing to try to satisfy consumers who still own older versions of the iPhone. Bluetooth accessories eliminate the docking issue since consumers can use any model of iPhone without having to dock or plug-in a device. Retailers who choose to expand their product offerings to include Bluetooth products and accessories will reach a larger customer base.
In addition, the iPhone 5 is the thinnest and lightestiPhone. With this particular design change, proper protection is more important than ever. If retailers have not already expanded their selection to cases,sleeves and screen protectors, now is the perfect time to add protective accessories to the product mix.
For manufacturers – especially those new to the industry – the market is fair game for creating innovative iPhone 5 accessories. It’s an ideal time for these manufacturers to get their foot in the door as consumers will be eager to explore the new accessories for iPhone 5. Manufacturers who can deliver products to the market early will certainly benefit from Apple’s design change with bigger profits. This same philosophy can be applied to new and established retailers who can readily provide iPhone 5 accessories. Add-on sales are the driver of sustained profits for retailers. Consumers want to buy new and relevant products, and the retailers that strike now while the buzz is hot will be well positioned to be successful with iPhone 5 accessory sales. Retailers should make sure they have a good assortment of accessories as diversity is the key to making sure they stay competitive and prepared to meet the needs of their customers.

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