A group of angry former US Apple dealers have launched the Tell on Apple Web site.
The dealers include Elite Computers and Software, MACadam Computers and MacTech Systems. All three are currently engaged in legal action against Apple, alleging that the computer company committed fatal damage against their businesses by favouring the needs of its own retail outlets above those of its independent resellers.
TellOnApple.org is intended as a "means to document and share any information concerning unethical or illegal business practices on Apple's part," the founders explained.
MACadam Computer president Tom Santos said: "I hope everybody looks at TellOnApple.org with open eyes. Apple's actions speak louder than its words".
An ABC news report last month explained the allegations that are being made against Apple. The resellers are accusing the company of fraud, breach of contract, false advertising and racketeering.
Central to the reseller's contentions are allegations that Apple favours its own retail operations when it comes to supplying stock, and that it offers far more favourable profit margins on stock supplied to its own stores than it makes available to its authorized reseller chain. Macworld has seen some of the litigants’ evidence.
Thomas Armes, who formerly ran five Computerware stores around San Francisco bay, believes that "Apple wants to take over the Mac retail market".
He told Macworld: "Computerware had become the second-largest Apple specialist in 2002, before Apple deauthorized us on April 1 2004. We even made the Inc 500 list for the fastest growing private companies in the United States three times."
He told ABC7News that: "New products would be in the Apple stores on the day of announcement, but it could take weeks, months – sometimes several months, to get good supply of the same product – effectively putting us out of business." Armes closed his stores last year.
He told Macworld: "I believe it is just a matter of time before the Apple shareholder lawsuits begin".
MACadam president Tom Santos told Macworld: "We never expected a company the stature of Apple Computer to stoop so low as to deceive their shareholders and loyal customers alike."
A case-management conference will take place in San Jose's Superior Court on April 20 – just two days before Apple's shareholder meeting at Apple HQ in Cupertino.
Unsubstantiated rumours from within Apple Europe suggests that the company plans to bring US retail chain managers to Europe this year.
Apple has declined comment on the case or the rumours of European expansion.