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Website Fights for iPhone Share

Website Fights for iPhone Share

With the release of the iPhone last week, businesses are quickly reacting to capitalise on this latest gadget craze.

But with iPhones strictly limited to sell through Vodafone outlets, there are very limited options for smaller firms to profit from the few thousand iPhones that will enter the New Zealand market place.

Christchurch based online retailer, has taken a different angle to try and benefit from this latest Apple phenomenon. Off The Back is the first online store in New Zealand to release an iPhone/iPod Touch compatible version of there website.

"While we always knew there was no way we could retail the iPhone, we at least wanted to be able to accommodate all those people who would be out there purchasing one" says co-founder of Off The Back, James Hanafin. "In the weekends our customers are away from their computers and our sales are significantly less. By making a version of our site that is compatible with the iPhone, we are increasing our sales opportunities."

Predictions are for the second-generation iPhone to draw as many as 10.5 million buyers worldwide this year, and with 6 million of the first generation devices previously sold, it should help Apple beat its target of 10 million iPhones by the end of the year.

"Even with a limited number of iPhones available in NZ, we believe every iPhone owner is a potential customer of our online store because many of our products are consumer electronics" says co-founder of Off The Back, David Jones. "As more handsets become available and prices decrease, we expect to see an increase in the number of visitors to our site using their iPhones."

Online sales in New Zealand have lagged behind the UK and USA, which were at 15% and 10% of all retail sales respectively in 2007, with New Zealand below 2%. Hanafin believes that this has largely been due to a lack of quality online retailers, and adapting their website to be accessed from "anywhere, anytime" is just another way to increase the quality of there service.


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