Taking a page from Charlie Sheen, founder of Kogan Technologies, Ruslan Kogan, has decided to take a $1 million bet over JB Hi-Fi’s relationship with Apple, claiming that by March 2014, Apple would no longer sell on JB Hi-Fi shelves.
The founder launched a scathing attack on JB Hi-Fi, he claims that Apple is ready to pull the plug on its distribution network – which he claims that it covers 30 percent of sales for the company – and is ready to go for a direct-to-consumer approach.
“Customers will benefit and Apple will benefit. Win-win situations like this invariably create change. Apple already has the wheels in motion to make this happen by tracking when people visit their website prior to purchasing their products from any store and by logging the email addresses of their customers through iTunes,” Kogan wrote.
“But, it won’t just be Apple. Other manufacturers will embrace the direct to consumer business model. We will see the likes of Samsung, Sony and LG do the same. Apple will simply be the first because they have the most unique product offering and they are the most responsive to change.”
Is he really that serious? Well, he has made up a contract on his wager, including definitions, timeframe and even paying interest – all this checked by a lawyer. Yep. So he’s gone crazy like Charlie Sheen.
Apple, however, has a small number of retail stores, and none are planned for 2011 or 2012 (as we know of). The company does rely on its online store, but also does rely heavily on its distribution network in order to push its products – such as Target and Myer – as many stores often do a slight price drop than what is on the Apple Store in certain times.
Kogan has been known for playing big stunts in order to promote his company and brands. He previously lost a bet with Myer over opening an online store in China, and recently gone on the attack with Harvey Norman and its founder, Gerry Harvey. However, Kogan’s products are arguably not that great in terms of quality and their reliability.