As iPhone rumours once again begin to reach fever pitch ahead of an, Dick Smith is one of the retailers keen to get in on the action from the day of launch. However, CEO Nick Abboud said it will take a genuine innovation in technology to get people buying in droves.
Abboud denied the smartphone market had reached saturation point, saying there would always be customers interested in buying a new device, but that it was "hard to speculate" just how popular a new Apple device would be.
If you look at the history, when there's a new product with not a lot of new technology, you don't see the spike [in sales]. So I think we all have to wait to see what sort of new technology Apple's going to bring to the market. We're hearing there could be a watch as well as a phone as well as a tablet, but it's all speculation.
Let's say they do bring a different-sized phone, and there is a customer that does want to switch to that, they would be new customers to them [Apple] and new customers for that category.
On the old [models of the iPhone], you get a spike on that as well because Apple will re-establish the price and there were will be a new customer wanting to get the Apple product which was aspirational -- now they can buy it.
What I can say is absolutely we'll see a spike in that category. How big depends on what gets released.
Abboud added that, thanks to its partnership with Vodafone, Dick Smith would also have access to the new device from the day of launch.
But while Apple was once the only brand to get fans queuing around the block in anticipation on that launch day, he said brands such as Samsung were offering now "a massive challenge to Apple" in the smartphone launch stakes.
The Korean brand is set to, the next iteration of its stylus-driven smartphone, at an Unpacked event in Berlin on September 3 as part of IFA (several days before Apple's rumoured September 9 release).
Regardless of which device convinces shoppers to part with their hard-earned, customers that go to Dick Smith to buy a new phone can also expect to see more in the way of Dick Smith-branded accessories in stores. The company, which today reported better-than-expected profits as part of its 2013-2014 financial results, has confirmed that it will expand its private label offering by 40 percent before Christmas.
The retailer currently sells a range of products that it sources in-house and stamps with its own logo, including entry-level Dick Smith-branded TVs and Move-branded accessories (named after its Move "fashtronics" concept stores).
Abboud said Dick Smith's increase in own-brand products may see other "national brands" come off the shelves (referring to well known electronics brand that it stocks), but that there was "a place for both". However, he admitted that Dick Smith's private brands "hit a price point that the national brands can't hit".