Amazon is set to expand the number of official Apple products it sells on its site, including its new iPhones, according to CNET.
But not everyone is happy. As part of the deal, Amazon is going to boot unofficial Apple product sellers, including refurbishers, from the site —unless they have permission from Apple.
“This is unconscionable,” tweeted iFixit CEO’s Kyle Wiens. “It’s important that access to these marketplaces remain fair. Used products are a huge and legitimate part of the economy,” he added in an email to PCMag.
The deal will reportedly put the iPhone XS, iPhone XR, and iPad Pro, in addition to the Apple Watch Series 4, on Amazon for customers in the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, and India in the coming weeks.
Apple already sells products like the Mac and Beats headphones on Amazon, but other gadgets are only available from third-party dealers. As a result, prices can vary and quality is at times questionable. But going forward, only Apple-authorized resellers will be able to sell official company products on Amazon.com, according to CNET.
Refurbished MacBooks on Amazon.
That’s bad news for independent resellers. Some include dealers that sell reused Apple products. One refurbisher, John Bumstead, told PCMag that hundreds, possibly thousands, of small businesses will now probably get banned from selling Apple devices on the site.
“Aside from eBay, Amazon is the biggest source of visibility for us,” he said. “What this is doing is effectively de-legitimizing the refurbishing from small businesses. It’s knocking us down a notch.”
Bumstead specializes in taking old MacBooks, from between 3 and 10 years old, and then repairing them for sale back on the market. His recycled products can range from $200 to $500 in price for consumers, making them extremely affordable relative to new MacBooks. But the deal between Apple and Amazon will likely boot his business from the site, even though Bumstead said he had a perfect record as an Amazon seller.
“We are losing the right to sell used computers. We are losing the right to repair computers,” he added.
The email Amazon sent to the resellers.
In response, Amazon said: “As part of a new agreement with Apple, we are working with a select group of authorized resellers to offer an expanded selection of Apple and Beats products, including new releases, in Amazon’s stores. Sellers are incredibly important to Amazon and our customers, and we are notifying them now so they can prepare for this change.”
However, Bumstead doesn’t expect any small businesses will be able to qualify to become authorized Apple resellers over Amazon. As Motherboard notes, the requirements are strict and providers have to show they can spend millions on inventory.
So far, Apple hasn’t commented on the deal. But it’ll give the iPhone maker a major platform to sell its products during the upcoming holiday shopping season, and more control over the reseller market, for better or worse.
However, you won’t be able to buy every Apple product on Amazon. According to CNET, the new sales agreement doesn’t include Apple’s HomePod smart speaker, which competes against Amazon’s Echo smart speaker line. Amazon also doesn’t sell Google’s smart speakers or media streamers.
In the meantime, you can buy Apple products on its website, which offers free shipping.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated with comment from refurbishers.