New details reveal Apple can force companies’ hands when securing iPhone deals

Apple is requiring cable companies Comcast and Charter to sell “large numbers” of iPads and Apple TVs as part of their agreement to stock the latest iPhone models.

According to CNBC, the Cupertino company issued strict instructions that state that they must push other Apple products as well as iPhones, or they could risk losing out on new iPhone releases to other wireless competitors in the future.

It’s the first time we’ve heard Apple take an aggressive approach to sales, although these snippets of news are perhaps just the tip of the iceberg, with the company hammering down on sales as it looks to combat slowing demand for smartphones and computers.

Comcast and Charter both offer wireless services as part of a deal with Verizon, with Comcast offering Xfinity Mobile to around 1.5 million customers in the United States.

With Spectrum Mobile, Charter currently serves around 300,000 users, a more modest figure.

Naturally, both companies wanted to stock the latest iPhones to compete with major carriers like Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, but as part of their deal with Apple, they have to sell other products, too.

Apple had “ample leverage” in negotiations, according to the report, with both Comcast and Charter unable to say no in fear of losing out on iPhones in their stores and online.

The specifics of the deals are unknown, although it’s believed that Comcast must sell a certain number of iPads at a subsidized cost – and pay the difference between discounted prices and the retail price.

Comcast is currently selling the latest iPad for $422.99, for example, which is less than the current $459 retail price offered at and in Apple Stores. Whether Apple offers cheaper iPads to Comcast is unknown, although it’s expected that this is a way for Apple to increase sales without damaging its brand.

Charter has a separate deal and is required to sell Apple TV boxes.

The company allows users to purchase a box at $7.50 per month for 24 months – equalling the $180 asking price of the Apple TV. As a result, Charter is now the largest third-party seller of Apple TV.

Are you surprised to hear about such deals taking place behind the scenes? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter using @AppleMagazine, and check back soon for more Apple news.

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