SEOUL, Nov. 21 (Korea Bizwire) — A group of South Korean smartphone retailers on Wednesday protested against U.S. tech giant Apple Inc. for its practice of forcing them to purchase in-store tester iPhones.
“Normally, most manufacturers provide all smartphones needed for display, which are collected later,” the Korea Mobile Distributors Association (KMDA) said in its statement.
“Apple, on the other hand, forces retailers to purchase all the phones used for demonstration purposes, giving more burden to retailers than other manufacturers,” the statement added.
Retailers claimed that the practice has weighed heavily on them recently, as Apple released several new iPhones at the same time with higher price tags.
The KMDA said Apple does not allow retailers to sell iPhones if they do not purchase display-purpose devices.
“Retailers not only bear the price of building shelves to display the devices for demonstration, but Apple also strictly controls the location of such shelves, as well as where posters are hung,” the organization said.
The retailers added they are currently carrying out an investigation to calculate the damages incurred by the practice, claiming they will take joint legal action with the country’s three mobile carriers.
Apple’s South Korean office did not respond to actions being taken by local retailers.