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Old 9th October 2007, 08:56   #1
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Default Apple ties up with Reliance for iStore

In a first of its kind tie-up, Apple has tied up with Reliance Retail to launch exclusive Apple showrooms, to be known as iStores. The first of these iStores will come up in Bangalore by the end of October.

Source: ET
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Old 10th October 2007, 00:03   #2
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You must be joking!!! What on earth is a company like Apple doing with a company like Reliance? Where is the commonality of philosophy? How on earth will they work together? Personally I think Apple's image will take a serious hit if this were to happen.
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Old 10th October 2007, 01:04   #3
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^^ I agree. Why doesnt Apple just set up normal Apple stores like they do in other countries. Sony have their Sony Worlds which IMO make you want a Sony even more.
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Old 10th October 2007, 01:15   #4
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This isn't the bad move that you guys are making it out to be.
I doubt that the Reliance symbol would be the predominant sign. Maybe just a tiny logo representing Reliance partnership. Apple doesn't really have the expertise in the Indian market to set up a full fledged campaign and with Reliance's stronghold in the Indian community, the shops can be set up with ease and relatively lower cost to Apple itself (atleast thats what I presume). This way Apple can go broader in India and not just concentrate on the metropolitan cities.
The smaller cities and towns can have a dedicated Apple section amongst Reliance Retail stores ala Best Buy in the U.S.
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Old 10th October 2007, 01:27   #5
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^^ There wont be any problem if Reliance just sets up the Apple Stores, but one of the things Apple is known for is excellent customer service, something that Reliance hasnt really aced. Also if this is just another place Apple is going to sell its products then i dont really see a problem, but if they are planning on setting this up instead of their flagship stores, I wont be too happy about it.
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Old 10th October 2007, 01:44   #6
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Reliance not wanting prominent branding is like expecting it to snow in Rajasthan. Besides the branding, customer relations and customer care (as khanak pointed out) are unknown concepts to Reliance. The take it or leave it attitude will not be accepted by today's consumers. What sort of stronghold does reliance have in the market? Show me a sizable section of the population that believes Reliance can be equated with quality, trust and reliability?

I mean c'mon... compare the Apple products (iphone, ipod, imac, macbook) with reliance's products and the way they sell it. Ask yourself this one question, would you walk into a reliance store to buy an ipod or would you wonder whether the ipod in that store is an excellent fake?

Cheers!
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Old 10th October 2007, 09:11   #7
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Well Reliance is only the distrubution set up. But yes Apple will have to invest a lot in teaching reliance what customer concepts. It would have been better if they set up their own stores. What happens to the Apple stores already in existence in cities like Bangalore? Will it not be cannabalising?
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Old 11th May 2009, 17:53   #8
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Default Reliance iStore ruins Apple Experience

Over the years, Apple has tried to justify its hefty (in comparison to Microsft and allies) owing to better experience and hassle-free life.

While, the software and hardware still keeps the promise and is every bit worth the money, I regret that the sales and service has been frankly a letdown owing to RELIANCE iSTORE partnership.

Seven years back, I first became a 'macboy' when we purchased candy iMac at London High Street store and that was followed by Ipod (3 generations till now), A White Macbook and also an iPhone, and countless accessories bought from the same store till I shifted base to India.

While quality of the product was always the priority, but what impressed me most was the Apple Store in London, with daily seminars, free training sessions, absolutely world-class sales, and my favourite feature 'Genius Bar'.

All you had to do was take an appointment and reach the store with Apple product and the 'geniuses' there would flash the magic wand and woof, your product was serviced...Right in front of your eyes!!!

ALAS!!! same can not be said for Apple in India. They have been getting aggressive in the country to increase sales but they made one fundamental error in the process, TYING UP WITH RELIANCE.

These people treat iStore just like a counter of Reliance Fresh. They have no knowledge of the product, its features and are least bothered to be helpful to customers. They will ply everything in books to hard sell the product.

But, that is not what Apple stands for. Steve Jobs would not want people to be duped into buying an Ipod or Macbook. Rather, Apple has always chosen education as their tool whereby they ensure that a customer fully understands the product and innovations involved before buying.

Sadly, Reliance is one company that is quite the opposite. They employ random people with diploma in Computer to be Apple Representatives who claim that a customer must buy Micro$oft Office with their mac purchase if they want to do word editing.

Service...well it does not exist!!! I called up Reliance store because my DVD drive was acting due to accumulated dust to be told to visit their store and everything will be sorted. I promptly reached the store as I had in London with my Macbook Pro brought from the same store in December.

The executive (far from Genius Bar representative) switches on the laptop, does god knows what, for ten minutes, only to say that the laptop needs to be sent to a service centre. He hadn't even inserted a disc to check the drive in these ten minutes.

I asked him to insert a blank disc to which he said I would be charged for the same. That wasn't a problem with me. Ten minutes later, he still hadn't inserted a disc and announced that the laptop could only be repaired at service centre and I would have to take it to the service centre.

I suggested that he should try cleaning the drive with compressed air. He didn't have it. I suggested using self cleaning disc, He wouldn't use it and insisted that the drive was corrupt and had to taken to service centre. I asked if he would arrange for my laptop to be taken to service centre, Answer was once again a big NO!. I had now lost all my patience and asked him why he had asked me to come in store if he could not repair the product. Once again, No Answer !!!!

Well, so much for the Apple experience ruined by Reliance with their sub-standard practices. Once again, Reliance has proved that they are capable of ruining anything and evrything...
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