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Apple driving resellers, partners out of business?

updated 09:45 am EST, Tue January 18, 2005

Apple, resellers battle

Apple is slowly driving its resellers and other partners out of business, which may be part of a larger plan to control the Apple experience, according to a VARBusiness article that examines the . "The fate of these and other Apple partners begs an interesting question: At a time when Apple is on the rise, why are the Apple businesses of so many Apple partners falling down? The answer, some believe, is a master plan by Apple to control as much of the Apple market as possible. That includes everything from where customers large and small buy products, their experiences with the Apple brand, how they are serviced and the types of solutions they eventually deploy."

The article notes that even resellers whose businesses have not been impacted should be wary, as Apple continues its retail expansion as well as its push for direct contact beyound the consumer markets.

"What all this means, simply, is this: Those partners who have felt insulated from Apple's encroaching ways because they don't cater to foot traffic or compete in areas outside Apple's perceived sphere of influence are soon going to have to come to grips with the fact that Apple is planning on directly engaging customers in more ways and in more places than ever before. Couple that with the fact that Apple is increasing its service business--it was up 13 percent year-over-year in fiscal 2004--and it's no wonder why more partners feel pinched by Apple's strategies and policies."

by MacNN Staff





  1. ronjamin

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I know, for one, that here in Pittsburgh, Apple opened a store in the high-end retail district of Shadyside, which is a few miles away from the City Center.

    Apple products are also sold at three other major retailers: 2 Comp-USA stores, one in Monroeville (east) and one in Robinson (west), and 1 Mac Outfitters (north).

    There are NO Apple retailers in the City proper other than the Apple Store. The last time there was was about 5 years ago when the Pittsburgh Computer Store closed.

    So, at least here in Pittsburgh, this story is not relevant.

  1. rkadowns

    Joined: Dec 1969


    With as many times

    I have read this, I would think they were all out of business by now.

  1. Glasspusher

    Joined: Dec 1969



    If it were resellers without Apple, or Apple without resellers, I would not hesitate to choose the latter.

  1. rok

    Joined: Dec 1969


    i'd like to see the stat

    ...of how well those apple resellers who get positive feedback from their customers are doing compared to those who don't. we have one terrible reseller in our area (not my opinion, they actually have a LETTER in their showroom saying "i usually hate coming to your store, but this one time, this person helped me a lot...") they sell 1996 software at full price, and make all their money on their service contract. i WISH they would get thrown out of business in favor of a good apple store.

  1. kndonlee

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I've been to a couple of Fry's, CompUSA's, PC Richards... the apple store's at these places, well, suck. No one is promotes them, just a pretty flyer is all that is around. However, in the windows section, the sales reps are around helping people out with their purchases and such.

    But then again, the CompUSA in SF, the apple section rocked, and was really well maintained. But rarely are there good apple sections with these resellers.

  1. hayesk

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: i'd like to see the.

    I couldn't agree more. Mom and Pop Wintel PC shops market like crazy and work hard to get your business - because there is so much competition.

    Local Apple dealers had it easy and didn't work hard to get new customers - they just sat back and relied on the loyal Apple customers who had nowhere else to go. Not everyone wants to order online and the dealers knew that.

    I want to hear a radio ad for a local dealer to get PC users into the store. I want to go into a local dealer and see a full selection of software and peripherals at a fair price. I want to see ads in the newpaper and flyers on my doorstep. I see and them for every other PC dealer in the city.

  1. AllenHuffman

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It's the Service, stupid

    Why would an Apple Store be a threat? Items are list price (hard drives WAY more than you can get them 'on sale' at CUSA or online) and they have zero ability to special order things they don't carry.

    A local retailer can offer better pricing or packages, and add items Apple doesn't carry (special orders).

    So - if you can offer lower prices, and better selection, and still think Apple makes you go under, it's the service, Stupid. Apple is NOT doing the Wal-Mart thing and opening up and selling at rock bottom prices 'cause they get the produces cheaper (since they make them) -- they are selling everything list price but in a clean, helpful environment.

    Retailers that are whining are probably those with lesser service.

    (Posted by someone who co-owned an indepenent store in a mall for many years, successfully competing against chain stores -- by being cheaper and having a funner shopping experience.)

  1. wadesworld

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Tough c***

    Resellers were Apple's major distribution source for many years. Year after year, resellers failed to do anything positive for Apple. Sure, most towns have a reseller that sells Apple product, but they existed solely to take orders from and sell services to existing Mac customers such as publishing houses and schools in the area.

    The only positive movement in the Mac market started when Apple took control of things themselves.


  1. Roehlstation

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Poppycock!

    It's not just Pittsburgh; Cincinnati is the same way, I work for MicroCenter and our Mac numbers are still better than the Apple Store here in town. And we've seen no sign at all of Apple trying to push us out. We actually had the 30" Cinema before they did.

    The only one's complaining about Apple are the resellers who have no business selling Apple to begin with. A lot of those smaller resellers offer horrible service and just do not have knowledgable people working there. And a lot of the time, their stores are a hole in the wall.

    One of the small retailers here in Cincinnati actually is an official site from Apple that gives Apple product seminars. And this place looked like someone's basement, but Apple feels they are a good place for their Final Cut Pro seminars.

  1. cebritt

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Mail order killed VARs

    Apple VARs were dead the day Apple let the mail order channel sell the entire Mac line. I remember when mail order had 8600s in stock and Ingram told me it'd be three months before they had stock. Shortly after that Apple dumped me as a VAR because I wasn't selling enough. A classic catch 22!

    Right or wrong, the Dell direct model has killed the VAR.

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