Not every specialty dealers is an Apple reseller, but plenty of dealers are shifting their business in response to the popularity of the products. Early last year, Bob Cole of Bob & Ron's World Wide Stereo in Hatfield, Pa., kvetched about the Apple iPad hype. But he realized what the future held and began tweaking his mix to sell a range of Apple solutions: better iPod sound from Wadia docks and Geneva docking stations/speakers, iTunes-friendly Sonos systems, and a raft of headphones that are generating nearly as much business as loudspeakers. His sales team uses iPads for presentations. They are also selling Savant's Apple-centric home automation solutions.
"The very first guy that we sold a Savant system to was just a total technophobe, except he loves his Apple: his Apple computer, his iPhone, his iPod," Cole said. "We whipped out the iPad [to show the sales/solution presentation], and in seven minutes the guy was sold. He was so comforted that he's building this $7 million home and it can all run on Apple."
Cyber Sound & Security in Scottsdale, Ariz., added Savant to its control mix two years ago. Six months ago the company made the system its primary home automation solution. "It has completely changed our business," said Jon Summer, Cyber Sound president. "It's an easier-to-use interface; it's easier to program. Thus far it's been completely stable. People already have an interface (via iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch) that they can use to control their home. It's a more cost-effective solution."