Apple Bans Online Sales in Japan

You would think that Apple would want more places to sell their products, right?  You would think that online sales would be a good thing, considering all the sales Apple makes from their own Apple Store site, as well as iTunes and the App Store.  Well, not in Japan.

According to a story posted on CNet Japan, large retail stores in Japan were ordered a week ago to stop selling Apple products online (Google translation; Japanese original). The comments in the Japanese business newspapers suggest that Apple believes online shopping confers an aura of ‘cheapness’ on their products.As of today, most of the largest retailers have notices on their Apple catalog pages asking you kindly to visit the shop if you want to buy anything Apple.

I am not sure what this really means in terms of Apple sales in Japan.  It doesnt make sense to me that someone has to go to an Apple retailer to buy their product.  I do most of my shopping online these days.  I dont want to have to fight crowds or traffic.  Now, while I do love going into the Apple store, if I can buy what I need online, I do.  And why do this in Japan?  Why not the US or Europe?

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