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Robert Peckham discusses Apple’s indifference to supporting indie retailers.

Opinion: Robert Peckham on Apple’s latest announcements

As every Apple enthusiast will know, last month saw the only official Apple promotional event left in the World – WWDC.

It’s extraordinary to think just a year ago there was Steve Jobs on the stage announcing iOS 5, iCloud, OSX Lion, and not a new piece of hardware to be seen. We didn’t realise that would be Steve’s last WWDC, and this year saw Tim Cook’s first shot at presenting at the Apple users fest.

There were many rumours beforehand that this year’s WWDC would all be about hardware. There were even a few leaks about new MacBook Pros, Airs and iMacs. We all know MacPro was long overdue for a major refresh. Jonny Ive visited the UK in May to receive his knighthood – congratulations, Sir Jonathan – and allegedly let slip in an interview that Apple had some ‘amazing and very significant new products to launch this year’.

But there’s a major negative item to mention in this column too: the closure of France’s biggest Apple reseller, eBizcuss, with 15 major outlets including its beautiful Paris flagship store. Only a few months ago eBizcuss was rumoured to be in talks with Apple about receiving compensation for restrictive trade practices over stock availability of key Apple products last Christmas. But evidently Apple didn’t – or wouldn’t – listen, and now eBizcuss is gone, and it is the latest casualty in Apple’s apparent indifference to supporting its major independent resellers.

This list also includes Cancom of Germany, which was formerly Europe’s largest Apple reseller, but now is a mere shadow of its former might. In the past year it has closed nearly all its stores outside Germany (including the UK) and has switched its sales focus to Windows PCs and its website clearly shows it.

I’ll certainly be watching how the UK’s larger Apple Resellers continue to fare over the coming months with great interest.

Robert Peckham is a 20-year veteran of the Apple reseller channel in the UK, and has managed many major Apple resellers. He founded the Mac Technology Association and was a director of the Technology Channels Association until their merger with CompTIA. He now runs MacTechnology, a consultancy for the Apple reseller channel which includes the Mac Tech Team support service.


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