How well is Apple coping with the challenges of new sales channels, new product lines and new processors? Macworld, in conjunction with MacWeek and other international publishing partners, set out to discover the answers by quizzing retailers, channel distributors and Apple officials in 11 nations around the world.

UK OK - now Apple authorized reseller Mygate said the situation in the UK has improved, but the company still has a backlog of orders. The biggest problem is the entry-level, 350MHz iMac. The 450MHz G4s are coming in, but the company is still waiting for 350s and 400s. Blueberry iBooks have been shipping, but Tangerine iBooks only just started appearing early last week. "Overall, it's 100 per cent better now than it was two weeks ago, but two weeks ago the situation was useless," a spokesman said.

Mitchell Sorbie, managing director of Scottish dealer Sorbie Research, said he is angry about the lack of shipments of any kind: "I've still got orders waiting from July 31, 1999. Apple has hyped up the iBook and G4, but we've got nothing to sell customers," he said. "The larger dealers who buy direct from Apple receive the orders first, and Apple leaves everyone else looking like clowns. Apple really needs to sort out its distribution." Again, entry-level iMacs were a particular problem.

One Apple reseller was positive about the situation. Giles Harwood, managing director of Gordon Harwood, said: "We should be very happy that we've got such demand, and be aware that Apple shipped far more in October than they did last year, and is shipping even more in November."

He is aware that some other dealers are unhappy, but believes the situation is not abnormal. "During the last three months, Apple has updated the whole range, and it's not easy for a manufacturer when demand is increasing. It's been an exceptional October and November, and I don't think we're getting stock in an unfair way."

Global study organized by MacWeek's Matthew Rothenberg and Daniel Drew Turner.

For details from across the globe, go to MacWeek at these sites: