Apple resellers in Australia are watching the trials and tribulation of resellers in the US with interest after a class action suite was filed against Apple claiming that the company's behaviour has been unacceptable.
Total Recall Solutions (TRS) MD Adam Conner told ARN: "I'm not surprised that a class action has been brought. It is difficult for some resellers because Apple makes tough decisions from time to time."
Apple Centre Taylor Square director Ben Morgan said: "The action is a sign that communications between the two parties had broken down to a point of distrust. This is happening for a reason. But it has not happened here yet, so this is a good time for Apple Australia to review its approach to the channel. It is also a good opportunity for the resellers to do the same."
In Australia areas of particular concern to resellers seem to be rebates. Next Byte director Adam Steinhardt said: "The rebate you currently get may only just cover the cost of the technician fixing a notebook, which is not ideal when you are trying to make a profit."
While US resellers alleging that they have had to compete with Apple's direct store for stock, in countries where Appel has yet to open stores it is the mass merchants that appear to get preferential treatment.
Apple Centre Broadway manager David Vanderkley said: "There are a few occasions where mass merchants have been given stock priority over resellers. However, in the case of iShuffles, I think Apple Centres were given preference over the mass merchants."