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European Apple resellers say lack of inventory is putting them out of business - Page 2

post #41 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I've been an Apple customer since 1984, through thick and thin, good days and bad, and people like me kept the company afloat through its 'dark days'.

So does that mean that Apple should subsidize my purchases as well?

Subsidise? I didn't say anything about that, I was merely making an observation. Yes of course it was the customers buying the products that kept Apple going, but without the distributors that could not have happened.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I'm not sure I can agree with that. Apple did rely completely on resellers but that's because it didn't have internet sales or its own retail stores. There was really no other option. Frankly the retailers didn't do a great job (on the whole) of making Apple's product look desirable. They were often pushed to the back of the store to rot.

As for being ruthless that is part of any for profit company's DNA if they wish to survive. One of Jobs first commands upon returning as interim CEO of Apple was to end all Mac clones. This wasn't Apple being dick for dick's sake, but Apple trying to survive. Where they dick? From the cloner's PoV, most likely. Was Apple right? Absolutely!

Again, I was making an observation rather than a criticism. Business sectors come and go, and the advent of the online store now coupled with the Apple stores have made resellers increasingly redundant. As to your comment about retailers, there were Apple specialists who only sold Apple stuff and they were, in my experience, good places to go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElectroTech View Post

I have tried to shop at an Authorized Apple Reseller since 1986 and every time I went in the shop for the past two and a half decades, I was treated like it was a privilege to be allowed in the store and have a person sell to me. It was the worst experience shopping so I turned to Apple's online store and was thrilled that Apple opened their own retail stores. I love the Apple experience and hope these greedy resellers go under as soon as possible.

Personal experience I suppose, the specialist resellers I used always gave good service.
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post #42 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

Looks like the middle man is being cut out.

But I suspect there are opportunities out there for clever entrepreneurs. For example, how about setting up a store that will do custom upgrades on new Macs? It could work like this:

1. you come into the store and consult with a salesperson who helps you pick a Mac from Apple's website and upgrades from OWC's website.

2. with the salesperson's help (if necessary) you order the stuff you need and have it delivered to the store.

3. everything is shipped to the store, where the staff put it altogether for you.

4. the store could even offer an alternative to AppleCare.

Such a store could also provide higher-end services and support for both consumers and small business (same day loaners on equipment that goes down; workshops on various software products that perhaps go into more depth than the Apple Store's workshops;...)

Such a store would be a bit of a niche, perhaps, but at least in larger cities I bet it could be successful.

Brilliant. This is the sort of business model reinvention they should be thinking of, instead of the whining.
post #43 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

And how long would it take before Apple steps in and says no, you can't do that?

Can Apple tell an entrepreneur selling value-added electronics and advising services on its product platform to stop, especially if they're not dependent on Apple for products and parts (and the consumer is willing to forego warranty, or the product is past warranty)? That would probably lead to all kinds of lawsuits.
post #44 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

Given the standards that Apple puts their refurbs though, that shouldn't be an issue in most cases.

It's never been a problem for me. It has been for other people who got DOA stuff. Apple refurbs are generally pristine.
post #45 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

And how long would it take before Apple steps in and says no, you can't do that?

Who says they don't already with Apple's blessing.

The only thing that could possibly be an issue is the parts from OWC. If you were to take a computer in under Apple Care and that part could be the issue then they won't fix it. I've had it happen when I upgraded my own RAM. The tech at the Apple Store put in their RAM to test and there was no issue. I had to hash it out with the shop where I got the RAM that they gave me defective chips. They said they didn't and refused to refund my money so I was out about $150 over that but it happens. Otherwise there were no issues with getting coverage under my Apple Care.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #46 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Perhaps their credit is being cut back by Apple as their businesses have declined which might explain inventory shortages. Apple are not going ship a ton of product to a company with a massive overdraft and a potential to go out of business. A horrible catch 22 to be sure if true but it wouldn't be Apple's doing by intent.

I won't touch the subject where they complain an English company is doing audits in the French stores ... Way too political!

I think it's absolutely worth looking at what the resellers are doing and why they're having trouble. It's also worth noting that there are less than 100 Apple Stores in all of Europe compared to many thousands of resellers. Now, if Apple opened a store right next to them, it's one thing. But if they're 50 miles from the nearest Apple Store, Apple would be foolish to artificially constrain stock.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElectroTech View Post

I have tried to shop at an Authorized Apple Reseller since 1986 and every time I went in the shop for the past two and a half decades, I was treated like it was a privilege to be allowed in the store and have a person sell to me. It was the worst experience shopping so I turned to Apple's online store and was thrilled that Apple opened their own retail stores. I love the Apple experience and hope these greedy resellers go under as soon as possible.

That's the key to the issue. Simply being an Authorized Apple Reseller doesn't mean that you're any good. And even if you were OK 5 years ago, it doesn't mean that you're still OK. Like you, I was in some really abysmal AARs a couple of decades ago. If they haven't cleaned up their act, they're probably out of business now. Not just because of Apple Stores, but also because of the much greater ability to buy product online today and the wider range of resellers (Best Buy, Target, Walmart, etc).

I don't know all the facts, but digitalclips is correct - it is entirely possible that these resellers were unable to supply customers with a strong reason to buy in their stores rather than online or from someone else - and they therefore ran into financial trouble which limits their inventory. That is, the number of places to buy Apple products has exploded, so it is entirely possible that these resellers would have failed even if Apple hadn't opened its small number of Apple Stores.
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post #47 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Can Apple tell an entrepreneur selling value-added electronics and advising services on its product platform to stop, especially if they're not dependent on Apple for products and parts (and the consumer is willing to forego warranty, or the product is past warranty)? That would probably lead to all kinds of lawsuits.

If they are modifying their hardware, sure they can. This is Apple. They'll tell anyone to stop doing things, even though they may not win.
post #48 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

Huh??

Market share and sales of the iPhone are declining in Europe.

I wouldn't say that is the right track.

I am not sure about this. While Apple does not break down sales by product category + region (they do one and the other separately), we know from the latest 10Q that sales in Europe were up 55% compared to the prior year, and profits up 69%. Moreover, the MD&A in the 10Q filing says: "Europe: During the first quarter of 2012, net sales in Europe increased $4.0 billion or 55% compared to the first quarter of 2011. The growth in net sales was due mainly to the launch of iPhone 4S and increased sales of iPad and Mac. The Europe segment represented 24% and 27% of the Company’s total net sales in the first quarter of 2012 and 2011, respectively."

I don't recall seeing any credible reporting on declining iPhone market share and sales. Indeed, I would be shocked if that were true, given the launch of iPhone 4S. It is possible that the growth in US$ revenue and profit was slightly lower than it might have been (although +55% and +69% are pretty darn good!) because the dollar appreciated against the Euro since the PIIGS crisis, but I don't think sales or market share declined.

Could you please point to a cite?
post #49 of 79
I figure that whether Apple can keep up with demand it or not it would be the SAME STORY.

Premium reseller vs. online sales or Apple Store is going to lose. There is just no way to differentiate from the Apple Store on sales of Apple products.

SOLUTION?
>> Apple needs to be forbidden from dictating the sales price of these resellers.
>> Resellers need to compete with Apple by creating SOLUTIONS for customers. They can have a "video suite" complete with some training, or target some other SOLUTION. Compete on service -- something!

Sitting around whining that you don't have enough supply is not going to solve anything. If you only sell 100 units last month, the chances of getting 200 units the next time Apple comes out with the next great shiny thing is really pushing it.

You need to be BETTER than Apple or an online store in ways that they cannot compete with.
post #50 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I am not sure about this. While Apple does not break down sales by product category + region (they do one and the other separately), we know from the latest 10Q that sales in Europe were up 55% compared to the prior year, and profits up 69%. Moreover, the MD&A in the 10Q filing says: "Europe: During the first quarter of 2012, net sales in Europe increased $4.0 billion or 55% compared to the first quarter of 2011. The growth in net sales was due mainly to the launch of iPhone 4S and increased sales of iPad and Mac. The Europe segment represented 24% and 27% of the Company’s total net sales in the first quarter of 2012 and 2011, respectively."

I don't recall seeing any credible reporting on declining iPhone market share and sales. Indeed, I would be shocked if that were true, given the launch of iPhone 4S. It is possible that the growth in US$ revenue and profit was slightly lower than it might have been (although +55% and +69% are pretty darn good!) because the dollar appreciated against the Euro since the PIIGS crisis, but I don't think sales or market share declined.

Could you please point to a cite?

C'mon, you guys.

The story was right here on AI:

http://forums.appleinsider.com/showthread.php?t=139257

From the original Reuters report:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/...7BL0FU20111222

[ 22.12.2011Kantar Worldpanel ComTech: Apple booms in Britain, but finds life tougher on the continent New data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech shows that in the latest 12 weeks of sales* Apple has increased its share of the British smartphone market from 21.4% a year ago to 30.9%.

Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director, comments: “In Great Britain, the US and Australia, Apple’s new iPhone continues to fly off the shelf in the run up the Christmas, reversing the share losses seen during much of 2011. However, this trend is far from universal, with sales in Germany and France somewhat underwhelming. In fact, in Germany, Android achieved a dominant 61% share of smartphone sales in the latest 12 weeks, with the Samsung Galaxy S II the top selling handset.”

As the Smartphone market is experiencing such strong global growth, it can be useful to look at shares of the total mobile market to put an OS’s performance into context. When using the total mobile market as a base, iOS gains share in every country, except Spain (where consumers are reluctant to spend >€50 on Smartphones).

The success of the new iPhone in Britain has meant that O2 - which has by far the highest proportion of existing iPhone owners - has benefited the most, taking 36.1% of all iPhone sales in the past 12 weeks. However, this has not had a dramatic impact on the number of O2 customers, as the majority of iPhone sales have come from existing O2 iPhone 3GS customers. 3 continue to be the fastest growing network in Britain, with its smartphone share up to 11.1%.

Dominic adds: “Typically Christmas gifting in the mobile market doesn’t really get started until December. Last year just under a third of all phones bought were given as presents and this figure rose to 46% in December 2010. Blackberry handsets were the most popular, making up 40% of the smartphones bought as gifts last December. We think this trend will be repeated in 2011. In fact, 55% of Blackberrys sold this November were bought as gifts.”

Smartphones made up 71.5% of sales over the 12 weeks, meaning that 47.3% of the British population now owns a smartphone.

* 12 w/e 27 Nov 2011

OS (Operating System) Share figures upon request.
]
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post #51 of 79
I have spent lots of $ on Apple and non-Apple products - online and in store - new and refurb - with many different criteria for each.

As for local Apple Reseller - until Apple opened a store nearby - MicroCenter was about the only place you could find Apple products on display and for sale. The prices there have generally been in line with what Apple charges - I have had very positive experiences there and know several of the sales reps by name and have some very pleasant conversations with them - including on non-computer related topics. In the past couple years they have done a very good job on being price competitive - and sometimes I am willing to pay a couple dollars more to have something today - versus waiting 4 or 5 days or paying for premium shipping. Especially for items that may need to returned or exchanged - far easier to go to the local store.

I have also purchased at Best Buy - in part for their rewards program - for items that are the same price everywhere - and it is easier to find out what is in stock at Best Buy than Apple stores.

I very nearly bought a Promise Pegsus R6 12TB array from the Apple Store in part to get it on their credit card with a year of no interest - in the end I got it online from another source for about $650 less than Apple sells them.

For me there isn't necessarily a single item or even short list of items that always makes one option better than another - many parameters come into play depending on the item and the customer for whom I am buying it (or myself) - and with information so easy to find on the web these days it generally doesn't take long to do some comparison shopping.

Overall MicroCenter does a very good job with Apple products - having an entire area of the store dedicated to Apple products and compatible items. Best Buy displays of Apple products are good and they have a number of peripherals - but not necessarily a lot of help - in fact most times I stop in there I end up helping another customer - for example finding the correct display adapter the last time I was there.

For iPods, and iPhones I have purchased from Apple store, Best Buy, and Target - again with various reasons some involving availability and some involving financing options.

I suppose what we really need to do is ask whether or not you can call your self and Apple Reseller if you are not in fact actually committing the resources necessary to actually sell Apple products.

Now, if the root of the problem is that Apple is starving the reseller market on purpose then maybe they have a legit complaint - which I suspect will fall on deaf ears - given that they had decades to make it work and Apple has pulled the proverbial rabbit from the hat almost from day one with its own foray into the retail market.

From a cultural perspective - most of the Apple Resellers I have seen in days of yore - have been tiny boutique type shops that would only be visited by the sort of techno geek that WANTS to go into a COMPUTER store. Whereas, Apple Stores attract folks from all walks of life who do not feel at like they are visiting a "computer store".

to tweak a likely worn out analogy - it is sort of the difference between someone who is a lifelong gear head and BMW fanatic going to the street corner used car sales man to get a great deal on a BMW and the average person who wouldn't think of stopping there - but is very comfortable going into the brand spanking new BMW dealership because they heard BMWs are a quality product that "just works" without knowing the difference between a 3 Series and a 5 Series. and from the flip side - not being treated by the dealer as if they are some sort of dope who shouldn't be allowed to own a BMW because they don't know the logo is either derived from an airplane propeller or from the Bavarian flag (or perhaps some combination of the two).
post #52 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

And how long would it take before Apple steps in and says no, you can't do that?

I don't think Apple has any legal means to prohibit what I proposed. They can't stop consumers from buying macs from Apple's website and having those Macs shipped to where they want, nor can they stop consumers from modifying those Macs once purchased. All they can do is void the warranty, but if the proposed store provides its own warranty, then big deal.

The only thing Apple could do would be to offer the same or better service at the same or lower price. And I see nothing at all wrong with that.
post #53 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Brilliant. This is the sort of business model reinvention they should be thinking of, instead of the whining.

why thank you

It also occurred to me after posting that the money you save by using OWC RAM and drives instead of Apple's crazy high prices on upgrades would go a long way towards paying for the services provided by the hypothetical store.
post #54 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post

I have spent lots of $ on Apple and non-Apple products - online and in store - new and refurb - with many different criteria for each.

As for local Apple Reseller - until Apple opened a store nearby - MicroCenter was about the only place you could find Apple products on display and for sale. The prices there have generally been in line with what Apple charges - I have had very positive experiences there and know several of the sales reps by name and have some very pleasant conversations with them - including on non-computer related topics. In the past couple years they have done a very good job on being price competitive - and sometimes I am willing to pay a couple dollars more to have something today - versus waiting 4 or 5 days or paying for premium shipping. Especially for items that may need to returned or exchanged - far easier to go to the local store.

I have also purchased at Best Buy - in part for their rewards program - for items that are the same price everywhere - and it is easier to find out what is in stock at Best Buy than Apple stores.

I very nearly bought a Promise Pegsus R6 12TB array from the Apple Store in part to get it on their credit card with a year of no interest - in the end I got it online from another source for about $650 less than Apple sells them.

For me there isn't necessarily a single item or even short list of items that always makes one option better than another - many parameters come into play depending on the item and the customer for whom I am buying it (or myself) - and with information so easy to find on the web these days it generally doesn't take long to do some comparison shopping.

Overall MicroCenter does a very good job with Apple products - having an entire area of the store dedicated to Apple products and compatible items. Best Buy displays of Apple products are good and they have a number of peripherals - but not necessarily a lot of help - in fact most times I stop in there I end up helping another customer - for example finding the correct display adapter the last time I was there.

For iPods, and iPhones I have purchased from Apple store, Best Buy, and Target - again with various reasons some involving availability and some involving financing options.

I suppose what we really need to do is ask whether or not you can call your self and Apple Reseller if you are not in fact actually committing the resources necessary to actually sell Apple products.

Now, if the root of the problem is that Apple is starving the reseller market on purpose then maybe they have a legit complaint - which I suspect will fall on deaf ears - given that they had decades to make it work and Apple has pulled the proverbial rabbit from the hat almost from day one with its own foray into the retail market.

From a cultural perspective - most of the Apple Resellers I have seen in days of yore - have been tiny boutique type shops that would only be visited by the sort of techno geek that WANTS to go into a COMPUTER store. Whereas, Apple Stores attract folks from all walks of life who do not feel at like they are visiting a "computer store".

to tweak a likely worn out analogy - it is sort of the difference between someone who is a lifelong gear head and BMW fanatic going to the street corner used car sales man to get a great deal on a BMW and the average person who wouldn't think of stopping there - but is very comfortable going into the brand spanking new BMW dealership because they heard BMWs are a quality product that "just works" without knowing the difference between a 3 Series and a 5 Series. and from the flip side - not being treated by the dealer as if they are some sort of dope who shouldn't be allowed to own a BMW because they don't know the logo is either derived from an airplane propeller or from the Bavarian flag (or perhaps some combination of the two).

You are a very educated consumer.

Other than the "not really such a good deal" credit card incentive, what other reason have you had for buying from Apple? Availability of product? Something else?
post #55 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by allblue View Post

Apple does have a ruthless side these days. Back in the dark days it was the resellers that kept Apple alive.

I like how people expect Apple to maintain the exact same strategies, business practises, and marketing paradigms that it held back in the 'dark days'. I mean, seriously? As the environment changes, so have they, in terms of doing whats optimal for them. If official Apple stores can't keep stock of their products because of crazy high demand, do you honestly expect them NOT to prioritize their own stores over resellers?Not doing so would be idiotic, irrational, and insane. This isn't some evil scheme to put these resellers out of business. It's about prioritizing stock of their own stores, which makes complete sense.

I keep seeing the statement of 'back in the day it was X who kept Apple alive and now they're screwing us' statements ad-nauseum. And? So instead of catering to the mainstream, you want Apple to continue to focus on this fringe percentage of the population who have always been fans of the company, and to put their needs and wants beyond those of the hundreds of millions of normal people it's now selling to? Get the hell over yourselves, enough with the entitlement, victimization bullshit. You bought Apple products because you liked them and chose to, not as charity work to keep the company alive. The distributors sold Apple products because they were also making money from it, it wasn't charity work. Apple doesn't owe you anything, so stop pretending it does, and stop expect it to base it's product strategy on the wants of the 0.001% of its consumer base that were 'there for Apple when it needed it' (those people that are butt-hurt that Apple announces new iPhones and iPads at it's keynotes, and not new MacPros).
post #56 of 79
No iPhone 4s 32GB has arrived to Movistar's (Spain's largest network) stores in Barcelona or Madrid since November... Waiting lists for the 16GBs are in the hundreds. Only 64GBs are in stock. Apple Stores do not sell Movistar phones. It feels like the Soviet Union with butter...
post #57 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I've been an Apple customer since 1984, through thick and thin, good days and bad, and people like me kept the company afloat through its 'dark days'.

So does that mean that Apple should subsidize my purchases as well?

Then as such, you should remember back in the late 80's and 90's that Apple resellers were a Godsend for you and Apple. It gave Apple an outlet to sell their wares. It gave you a place that was dedicated to the Mac platform and none of this store within a store BS they originally had at CompUSA.

While as dedicated an Apple users as you, I seriously doubt your Apple purchases alone or mine combined would have kept Apple afloat. However, the multitudes of sales that the multitude of Resellers performed, the evangelism they did, the service outlets they provided, the Genius Bar before the Genius Bar was far more invaluable then our meager purchases! In other words... No Subsidy For You! - as the Soup Chef on Seinfeld would say...

Sad really. Not the first time the Resellers whined or that Apple screwed the hand that fed them, depending on your perspective of things...
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post #58 of 79
Out hustle Apple you will be lost. You obviosly did a good job at the hustle part of your business. Congrats. Selling is more than having "the goods" on the shelf. Your relationship with YOUR customers is key to success. Good business is not like a vending machine, to get and keep customers more is needed, like service, service and did I mention service?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundvision View Post

Maybe I can shed some light on the reseller situation. My family owned an Apple Specialist for 25 years and I worked there for 11 years. We have since sold the business to someone else so I feel a bit more inclined to discuss it.

Being a reseller has been a struggle for the Apple Reseller's in the world for the most part, especially ones with Apple going in next door. We've seen many of our friends shut their doors in larger cities cause it's very difficult to compete with Apple.

For our business we did very well cause I'd like to think of us as one of the better resellers. We were also located 2 hours from the nearest Apple Store and nobody was interested in driving that far. Because of that our sales increased every year as Apple grew to be a larger company. We offered the same computers, same service, same AppleCare and can often times beat certain prices depending on the situation. We couldn't sell iPhones but to be honest that was a blessing in disguise. So many factors outside our store would determine if somebody liked their phone or not, including reception at their home and work so it was better that he couldn't handle them.

Apple is most definitely a competitor, probably our biggest one but what can you expect, it's in their nature. You can complain about it or you can evolve and prepare for the future. The Apple Education store KILLED us. Apple is selling machines lower than what we can buy them for and many people often times abuse the educational pricing since Apple doesn't really check anything. Best Buy and online sales without sales tax also killed us. We had to sell people on our service and support and let them know we value our customers who shop with us instead of our competitors and many people appreciated that.

I know this isn't true for all resellers but I'd go so far as to say we help people in many more ways versus the Apple Store. You see, at the Apple Store, employees can only help people on certain topics, often times just Apple things. If you had a weird peculiar problem with 3rd party software Apple would have you just contact that company and I can't say I blame them. Our business was the only Mac place in the region, if I didn't solve someone's problems no one would. I knew Apple wouldn't help them, their 3rd party software's 1-800 number wouldn't help them so everything fell on our shoulders. I didn't mind because I loved helping people. Most people are extremely grateful when you take time out of your day to solve their unique problem that no one else would sniff at. Our staff was also more knowledgable versus most Apple Store employees (at least in my experience). Unfortunately Apple has to hire so many people for their stores that they hire personality first and teach them the Mac later. That leaves you with a lot of untrained people selling Macs. At our business everyone was a Mac person and everyone was an expert in their field. We solved issues that only someone with tenured experience would be able to figure out.

For hard to get items we would most certainly get little inventory but it became to be expected, not a surprise. On iPad launch day we were probably guaranteed to get none, same with new iPods and other small things. Computers Apple usually did a pretty good job of getting them to us so that was a plus.

I could go on and on but it's unnecessary. We were a lucky one, our business rose with the success of Apple and we were thankful for that despite the fierce competition from Apple. I wish their was a solution for the other resellers but there really isn't. Apple loves control and there Apple Stores are a perfect example of that. Apple has tons of money and are able to build these beautiful stores that people gravitate towards. If these future resellers want to survive they need to evolve their business plan. They need to focus on service and support since most Apple Store's are a damn zoo when it comes to getting anything fixed. They need to evolve and work on setting businesses up with software solutions and high end software sales.

While I loved working on the Apple Reseller world I'm glad we passed to torch on to someone else. It's only a matter of time before Apple comes to our neck of the woods and it would cast a dark cloud over us instantly.
post #59 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by lloraki View Post

It feels like the Soviet Union with butter...

Or Scandinavia today...

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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Originally posted by Relic

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post #60 of 79
If there are any disgruntled AARs in the UK reading this, why don't you switch away from hardware to boxed software and accessories.

Not everyone wants to download software from the Mac AppStore, especially if you don't have fast unlimited broadband.

Plus every week I read articles on here and other fan/rumour sites about great new accessories for the Mac and iPhone/iPad. I was reading yesterday about a great new gadget from Twelve South. None of this stuff is available in my local Apple Store which means I would have to buy and import it from the US.

Just needs a bit of lateral thinking.
post #61 of 79
Premium resellers must and will disappear as Apple create more official stores around the globe. Resellers sell Apple products at a very higher price, and Apple is in an World expansion strategy, so they want to be more accessible to everybody.
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post #62 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by lvidal View Post

Resellers sell Apple products at a very higher price...

I have only ever seen the exact prices as available at Apple Stores and online from any of the resellers I've visited.

Originally posted by Relic

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post #63 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

Then as such, you should remember back in the late 80's and 90's that Apple resellers were a Godsend for you and Apple. It gave Apple an outlet to sell their wares. It gave you a place that was dedicated to the Mac platform and none of this store within a store BS they originally had at CompUSA.

I also remember some really terrible ones. Anyone remember the Sears Apple section? Sears was an authorized Apple reseller - and had terrible displays, usually empty and when they had a computer there, it was usually broken. If you asked a sales person for help, they invariably steered you away from Apple products.

Resellers can be great or they can be terrible. But, ultimately, their success depends on their own actions.
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post #64 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

I also remember some really terrible ones. Anyone remember the Sears Apple section? Sears was an authorized Apple reseller - and had terrible displays, usually empty and when they had a computer there, it was usually broken. If you asked a sales person for help, they invariably steered you away from Apple products.

Resellers can be great or they can be terrible. But, ultimately, their success depends on their own actions.

The Performa line certainly didn't help...
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post #65 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

C'mon, you guys.

The story was right here on AI:

http://forums.appleinsider.com/showthread.php?t=139257

Thanks. I had missed it, for some reason.

I don't believe this story for one second. It is simply not remotely consistent with the massive revenue and profit increases that Apple saw in Europe in the past quarter (+55% and +69%, as noted before). Moreover, the Euro depreciated against USD during this time, thereby making the reported numbers in USD even lower than it otherwise might have been.

It is quite unlikely that more than 55% and 69%, respectively - which would be the case if iPhone sales fell - came from sales increases in Macs and iPads. (We know that iPods have been flat-to-declining.) If the recession were affecting the iPhone, it would be affecting iPads (a relative luxury) and Macs (more expensive on a per-unit basis) even more.
post #66 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Thanks. I had missed it, for some reason.

I don't believe this story for one second. It is simply not remotely consistent with the massive revenue and profit increases that Apple saw in Europe in the past quarter (+55% and +69%, as noted before). Moreover, the Euro depreciated against USD during this time, thereby making the reported numbers in USD even lower than it otherwise might have been.

It is quite unlikely that more than 55% and 69%, respectively - which would be the case if iPhone sales fell - came from sales increases in Macs and iPads. (We know that iPods have been flat-to-declining.) If the recession were affecting the iPhone, it would be affecting iPads (a relative luxury) and Macs (more expensive on a per-unit basis) even more.

One story added the word "sales" to the story while others consistently talked about market share. I do believe, though, that market share and sales fell in Spain, while only market share dropped in France and Germany [and Italy]. The UK could have played a big part in increased sales in Europe but definitely there is a trend towards Android in France, Germany and Italy. [plus, it must be remembered that this survey was until the end of November. Regardless, I believe that even if Apple was able to do a massive push during December then we will still see a fall off of market share, and possibly even sales, in France, Germany, Italy and Spain during the 1st calendar quarter of 2012.]

I don't think roughing up the resellers is the answer to a (large) drop in market share. Reeducating the reseller and having a point by point standards list with strict adherence is one way to help alleviate any problems. Denying a reseller product while keeping the Apple store bloated is not, imo.
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post #67 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

I like how people expect Apple to maintain the exact same strategies, business practises, and marketing paradigms that it held back in the 'dark days'. I mean, seriously? As the environment changes, so have they, in terms of doing whats optimal for them. If official Apple stores can't keep stock of their products because of crazy high demand, do you honestly expect them NOT to prioritize their own stores over resellers?Not doing so would be idiotic, irrational, and insane. This isn't some evil scheme to put these resellers out of business. It's about prioritizing stock of their own stores, which makes complete sense.

I keep seeing the statement of 'back in the day it was X who kept Apple alive and now they're screwing us' statements ad-nauseum. And? So instead of catering to the mainstream, you want Apple to continue to focus on this fringe percentage of the population who have always been fans of the company, and to put their needs and wants beyond those of the hundreds of millions of normal people it's now selling to? Get the hell over yourselves, enough with the entitlement, victimization bullshit. You bought Apple products because you liked them and chose to, not as charity work to keep the company alive. The distributors sold Apple products because they were also making money from it, it wasn't charity work. Apple doesn't owe you anything, so stop pretending it does, and stop expect it to base it's product strategy on the wants of the 0.001% of its consumer base that were 'there for Apple when it needed it' (those people that are butt-hurt that Apple announces new iPhones and iPads at it's keynotes, and not new MacPros).

I completely agree with you but I stopped posting replies to ill-informed comments like the one that you replied to.

People just don't understand that Apple is in the business to make money. You should read MacRumors. People vilify Apple ad nauseam over how they're treating the pro market badly. They say the same thing that the OP said about resellers. They say that the pro customers were Apple's bread and butter and Apple is now turning their back on them. They talk ad nauseam over how they used to have so much respect for Apple but they've become too ruthless, as though Apple as let them down.
post #68 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I've been an Apple customer since 1984, through thick and thin, good days and bad, and people like me kept the company afloat through its 'dark days'.

So does that mean that Apple should subsidize my purchases as well?

I don't think anyone is asking Apple to "subsidize" purchases. They are simply - and rightfully - asking to be given adequate product to sell.
post #69 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by allblue View Post

Apple does have a ruthless side these days. Back in the dark days it was the resellers that kept Apple alive.

It's not a wrong observation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I've been an Apple customer since 1984, through thick and thin, good days and bad, and people like me kept the company afloat through its 'dark days'.

So does that mean that Apple should subsidize my purchases as well?

With all due respect, this retort misses the mark.
post #70 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

Looks like the middle man is being cut out.

But I suspect there are opportunities out there for clever entrepreneurs. For example, how about setting up a store that will do custom upgrades on new Macs? It could work like this:

1. you come into the store and consult with a salesperson who helps you pick a Mac from Apple's website and upgrades from OWC's website.

2. with the salesperson's help (if necessary) you order the stuff you need and have it delivered to the store.

3. everything is shipped to the store, where the staff put it altogether for you.

4. the store could even offer an alternative to AppleCare.

Such a store could also provide higher-end services and support for both consumers and small business (same day loaners on equipment that goes down; workshops on various software products that perhaps go into more depth than the Apple Store's workshops;...)

Such a store would be a bit of a niche, perhaps, but at least in larger cities I bet it could be successful.

Well that's exactly my business here in Germany. Only thing is you do not need to have a store at all.
It's called IT consulting.

We actually order online at Apple for our clients with their own accounts in most cases. We do the upgrade and fresh installations, optimizing the system, and hooking up to the network, etc. We also install mixed systems, including MS servers, backup solutions, the whole mobile thing, etc.

A couple of long time buddies of mine here were also once an "Authorized Reseller", but turned down the (new) Apple contracts about 8 (9?) years ago. They also do IT consulting with an emphasis on Mac/Apple shops and services, basically the same as mine.

IMO, anything more than a few rooms, the necessary equipment/tools needed for repairs/upgrades, and a small staff... of which a secretary/shop manager is the most important personnel... is plain over-confident, wasteful, and not likely to be profitable.
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post #71 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by msm859 View Post

I don't think anyone is asking Apple to "subsidize" purchases. They are simply - and rightfully - asking to be given adequate product to sell.

Of course there's a subsidy that is being asked for: The final sale price of the product is the same: i.e., Apple gets a higher margin when they sell through their own stores than through other retailers. That is Retailing 101. The fact that you choose to ignore that basic fact doesn't make it go away.

And, what is so 'rightful' about these guys that is not so with long-time customers?
post #72 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

With all due respect, this retort misses the mark.

Sure, since you said so, it must be true. No need to explain why.
post #73 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by LizardLiquer View Post

Out hustle Apple you will be lost. You obviosly did a good job at the hustle part of your business. Congrats. Selling is more than having "the goods" on the shelf. Your relationship with YOUR customers is key to success. Good business is not like a vending machine, to get and keep customers more is needed, like service, service and did I mention service?

Thanks for the kinds words. I love Apple as a company but it feels good to not have that direct affiliation like before.

I now do consulting and high end software sales on my own and it's a much more pleasant experience. Apple Stores will send business your way all day if they know your not selling hardware.
post #74 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by allblue View Post

Apple does have a ruthless side these days. Back in the dark days it was the resellers that kept Apple alive.

In the dark days, resellers were also marginalizing Apple products, which is why Apple has such a dislike for resellers. Does that mean all resellers were problematic? No, but when you are bitten by a coyote, you tend to shy away from all coyotes from then on.
post #75 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by SixnaHalfFeet View Post

In the dark days, resellers were also marginalizing Apple products, which is why Apple has such a dislike for resellers. Does that mean all resellers were problematic? No, but when you are bitten by a coyote, you tend to shy away from all coyotes from then on.

Resellers were also bad about keeping secrets back in the day which helped create Apple's dislike for them.
post #76 of 79
Apple is perhaps being ruthless, or the European resellers are not investing enough credit, or somehow European operations have gone slightly off the boil.

But it is a sad fact of life in any case. My condolences to Apple Premium Resellers (APRs).

Some APRs around the world *have* done better with official Apple Stores around though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

They should be looking for alternate revenue streams because this issue will not get better for them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Perhaps their credit is being cut back by Apple as their businesses have declined which might explain inventory shortages. Apple are not going ship a ton of product to a company with a massive overdraft and a potential to go out of business. A horrible catch 22 to be sure if true but it wouldn't be Apple's doing by intent.

I won't touch the subject where they complain an English company is doing audits in the French stores ... Way too political!

Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

One has to ask, though, if Apple is choking off supply only to the stores close to Apple stores or if supply is also being cut to locations that aren't anywhere near an Apple store.

Remember that France is one of the countries showing a decline of iPhone sales in Europe. Actually, France had the greatest drop in sales.

Of course, one could argue that the drop in sales occurred because the resellers weren't doing their job but if that's not the reason then Apple had best address the situation promptly.
post #77 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundvision View Post

Thanks for the kinds words. I love Apple as a company but it feels good to not have that direct affiliation like before.

I now do consulting and high end software sales on my own and it's a much more pleasant experience. Apple Stores will send business your way all day if they know your not selling hardware.

Yes, I worked four years in Malaysia with the largest Apple Premium Reseller there, from their very first shop to six, since I left they added a few more.

But it is good not being so closely tied to Apple, can be a nightmare sometimes.

I'm here in Australia doing mah own thing, still Apple-related, but much more... relieving(?).
post #78 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by SixnaHalfFeet View Post

In the dark days, resellers were also marginalizing Apple products, which is why Apple has such a dislike for resellers. Does that mean all resellers were problematic? No, but when you are bitten by a coyote, you tend to shy away from all coyotes from then on.

Resellers and Apple is like a fine dance ~ both courtship, mating and combat in ritual.
post #79 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Thanks. I had missed it, for some reason.

I don't believe this story for one second. It is simply not remotely consistent with the massive revenue and profit increases that Apple saw in Europe in the past quarter (+55% and +69%, as noted before). Moreover, the Euro depreciated against USD during this time, thereby making the reported numbers in USD even lower than it otherwise might have been.

It is quite unlikely that more than 55% and 69%, respectively - which would be the case if iPhone sales fell - came from sales increases in Macs and iPads. (We know that iPods have been flat-to-declining.) If the recession were affecting the iPhone, it would be affecting iPads (a relative luxury) and Macs (more expensive on a per-unit basis) even more.

Exactly. If Apple is keeping all the inventory for themselves and not shipping to the resellers, how in the world did they get a 55% increase in revenues? There are less than 100 Apple Stores in all of Europe, so they couldn't do that on their own.
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