US Mac retailers are reportedly losing business to Apple's retail stores – news that will do little to cheer UK resellers following (unconfirmed) news that Apple has plans to open a shop on London's Regent Street.
A report in VAR Business describes an "undercurrent of dissatisfaction" as US Mac specialists find they have been "left out in the cold".
There are a number of reasons for the dissatisfaction, according to the article.
Apple-authorized resellers are not allowed to service iPods. VAR Business suggests: "This could have been a fairly lucrative business for some given the number that have been sold and whose nonreplaceable batteries have died".
US resellers are not given advance information on Apple prices and products, or prioritized access to products in short supply. According to VAR Business: "Those go to Apple's own retail stores before they are available to third parties via Ingram Micro and Tech Data."
Also, Apple's recent decision to eliminate a dozen people who were assigned to work with Apple specialists has caused problems. As a result Apple resellers are being told to "look to their local retail store for help", says VAR Business.
The report suggests the Apple Stores "could be an invaluable resource if Apple would coordinate its activities with partners".
"Inside the stores, Apple personnel rarely have more than a few minutes to spend with any given customer. If they could confidently hand off business to area Apple consultants, then business would no doubt improve for both parties. Alas, that's not happening, which is ironic given the success Apple has had putting its own people in third-party retail stores. Clearly, Apple has learned that the more expertise there is in any location selling Apple gear, the better," it suggests.
Apple specialist Bill Neyman said: "Nothing would please me more than for Apple to wake up to the power of the channel. In the long run, it would also put big smiles on the faces of Apple's stockholders."