Vietnam retailers face $83,500 penalty for early iPhone 14 activation

By Tuan Hung   October 11, 2022 | 04:30 pm PT
Vietnam retailers face $83,500 penalty for early iPhone 14 activation
An iPhone 14 Plus in Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress
Retailers in Vietnam may be fined up to VND2 billion ($83,559) by Apple distributors if their iPhone 14 get activated before Friday.

A representative of a retailer said all authorized retailers have to sign a guarantee with Apple distributors in Vietnam about not selling iPhone 14 before Friday (October 14).

Failure to do so would result in fines, with the amount depending on agreements between retailers and distributors, the rep said.

"For us, each iPhone 14 that is activated early would result in a fine up to around VND2 billion," the rep said.

Another representative of an authorized retailer also said they have had to deposit over VND1 billion up front to distributors as a deterrent against early iPhone 14 sales.

"Apple has no fining policies. These are policies decided by distributors," the representative said, adding that the distributors would have to face consequences from Apple for violations, including import and distribution restrictions.

Additionally, retailers with violations would see the number of phones provided reduced for upcoming orders. This is what retailers fear more than the fines themselves, as a drop in the number of available products also means a drop in revenue, profit and even the reputation of the shop.

Policies regarding information security and iPhone activation have been getting stricter since the beginning of this year, retailer representatives said.

"iPhones are always a hot topic, so many retailers in Vietnam want to leak information to garner attention. Certain incidents with the iPhone 13 last year forced retailers to sign agreements entailing big fines," said one retailer.

In Vietnam, iPhone 14 would be transported to retail shops starting Tuesday or Wednesday for sales to start Friday.

iPhones sold at authorized retailers have been in great demand in recent years because they have better prices than those shipped from overseas. Apple's new policies to tighten warranty requirements have also helped bolster Vietnam’s market for iPhones sold by authorized retailers.

Several retailers in Vietnam said they would make phone buyers activate their phones at the moment of purchase to avoid resale and increase the rate of activated phones to phones available, an important metric for Apple to determine how many phones it would provide to retailers in future orders.

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