Good news, Costco US shoppers, if you like Apple products you will be happy to know that you can now purchase them at Costco again! And this time, I’ve noticed, the relationship seems different right from the beginning. They’ve got a full selection of Apple devices like the iPad, iPhone, iPods, and even the Apple TV, and of course, the iTunes gift cards. And the biggest change? You can find all of the Apple stuff devices at Costco.com too. I’ve also noticed that the emails I have received from Costco US where they are selling Apple items now use the “authorized reseller” logo from Apple, so it’s all totally sanctioned. It seems the bad feelings of the past, as well as the bad deals for Costco, are well and truly in the past. I wasn’t sure that Costco and Apple would come together again after the less than amicable parting at the end of 2010, so I’m glad to see they’ve made up and are back to being friends.
The inability to sell the new iPad, either online or in stores, was what seemed to be the impetus for the split in 2010, so it is good to see that they now have a ton of iPads for sale at Costco.com. They’ve got the full sized ones, the mini, the Air, retina displays, and the iPads with cellular service too…you want it, they’ve got it now. Plus, when you buy your iPad at Costco.com (or in the stores I imagine), you get a $40.00 iTunes gift card. The only iPads not offering this deal online are the 16GB versions. I think it is great that they have the various storage sizes – 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, and the jumbo 128GB too. When I did a quick check on a 128GB iPad Air, the price at Costco.com is $779.99 whereas you’ll pay a bit more, $799.99, at Apple. When I added in taxes for shipping to my mom in Kansas the prices were $843.56 at Costco and $864.12 at Apple. So, either way, you are paying $20.00 less at Costco and getting the bonus of a $40.00 iTunes gift card to boot. Not to mention you also get the 90 day return policy and the free technical concierge, as well. I’d say you also get the second year of warranty too, but I’m not sure if an iPad is considered a “computer” by Costco (they only offer the second year of warranty on televisions, projectors, and new computers). So, you definitely get a lot at Costco in the way of added value, plus you’ve saved $20.00 up front.
And if you are wondering, you can get all of the latest iPhones through Costco as well. You can even reserve your very own shiny new iPhone 6, though sadly I didn’t see the iPhone 6 Plus. The iPhones are sold through a Costco service provider and allows you to get your mobile service when you buy the phone. Unfortunately, it looks like you are always going to be tied to a 2 year service contract too. But that seems pretty standard, so it’s not really any different than buying your new phone through Apple. Well, unless you go with T-Mobile and pay the full price of the phone up front for a contract free plan through Apple, but not through Costco. For contracts through other carriers though it still looks like you are getting a bit of a savings of around $20.00 by setting up your new phone through Costco.
As I mentioned, Costco.com also has the Apple TV. If you’re interested in picking one of these up, there’s a $10.00 off deal through the end of September, so the final price is $87.99. Plus, you’ll get a free $15.00 iTunes gift card with your purchase. The price at Apple is $99.00 for the device but right now you’ll get a $25.00 iTunes gift card with your purchase. We like our Apple TV and find it great for viewing our own photos and media, as well as streaming stuff, some of it even free, from Apple. Here in the UK, the prices on renting a movie are also better than you’ll find through Sky or Virgin but I’m not sure how they compare in the US. I really like the AirPlay feature so that you can display what is on your Apple computer, iPad or iPhone on your television, which is great for playing games or working on something as a group.
Now if they’d only get the Apple laptops and computers at Costco.com too, that would be great.
I’m not sure if the new CEOs of both companies are less stubborn and more ready to deal. Or, maybe Tim Cook realized the value of selling through Costco since they’ve given Costco more latitude now, it seems, to offer discounts and sell online. I’m not sure exactly how this finally worked itself out but I am glad that they were finally able to reach an agreement that was fair to both companies and get some Apple products back at Costco.
Welcome back, Apple!