In its first month as an Apple service center, Audiotronics repaired 79 computers, and their owners were "unbelievably grateful," Guyes said. "I don't know how we can put a value on that."
Many dealers see home control and automation integration eventually becoming their main sale, while televisions and audio gear become the attachments. Last year, Leon SooHoo, president of Paradyme Sound & Vision in Sacramento, was approved as a reseller of Mac desktop and laptops. Shortly after that he applied to sell iPod and Apple TV. Soon he'll be applying to sell iPad. SooHoo hopes an Apple sign in a Paradyme store window will attract new customers.
"There's no profit opportunity except that it's an enabler," he said. Those opportunities, retailers said, include the creation of higher-margin solutions. For example, SooHoo and others see iPad as an interface for home control, as well as for a multitude of small business applications; the new iOS 4.2 for streaming content wirelessly from iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch to Apple TV; and AirPlay-enabled speakers as a form of whole-home audio distribution.