Ruslan Kogan isn’t about to stand up in front of a crowd of journalists and not say something controversial. In an appearance at the Kickstart IT media forum in Queensland this morning, Kogan’s founder and Gerry Harvey’s least favourite entrepeneur discussed the role Apple plays in propping up retailer profits, and whether or not Kogan will ever enter the Android tablet market.
Here’s Kogan on how Apple has become a major power in Australian retail stores:
You may not know it yet, but the biggest retailers in Australia are Apple’s bitch. In the last quarter, the sale of Apple products and Apple-related accessories made up over 30% of JB Hi-Fi’s sales. That’s pretty incredible. What does this mean? It means that Apple is an innovative company with a unique proiduct offering. It also means that the biggest bricks and mortar retailers are relying on the genius of Apple to stay alive. But what if Apple decided it could make more money through its own site and stores rather than using that third party network?
In Kogan’s view, it’s only a matter of time before that happens:
It might next year, it might be the year after. The time will come when Apple pulls out, and that may well be the end of bricks and mortar retail as we know it.
And here’s his take on why Kogan isn’t likely to have another crack at the Android market — once again, Apple is very much in the frame:
There’s certain products where I feel that the user experience that Apple has created is superior to what anyone else can make. That’s why we have not released an MP3 player. That’s why we are yet to release a tablet. We have played with hundreds of tablets and tried to improve the user interface and tried our absolute best and we can’t do better than Apple. In terms of that, they have made an awesome product.
When they make an awesome product, it’s an awesome product. The same with phones. We have looked at Android phones, but once again it’s at the point where if we launch an Android phone, it will be a budget model.