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Apple under channel attack due to unfair treatment of partners

Apple seem to be in the limelight this weekend as several organisations take legal action against them. The ChannelWeb site have reported that Apple are facing action from French Apple Premium reseller eBizcuss saying that they favour their own stores when sending supplies of products.

This action by eBizcuss has caused other Apple partners to speak out, even though it appears to be anonymous at this point.

Channelweb add “One continental European APR who saw the coverage contacted ChannelWeb to sympathise with eBizcuss’ position and slate Apple’s channel tactics. A UK APR has also stepped forward to lend its backing to eBizcuss’s cause, although both would only talk anonymously due to fears of possible repercussions from the vendor.”

A European APR sent a 4,400 missive to ChannelWeb which read:

“- APRs have sometimes not enjoyed parity against Apple’s own stores and high street retailers when it comes to the availability of flagship products such as the iPad and MacBook Air, giving them the embarrassing reputation of “shops with no products”.

– Apple’s SI partners are being allowed to stray onto APR turf by targeting SMB and education deals, driving down margins.

– Some APRs are encountering cashflow difficulties brought about by Apple’s decision to cut their credit lines, he alleged.

– APRs currently cannot stock iPhones, which is a big source of customer dissatisfaction.

– The v2 format forces APRs to reduce the amount of lucrative third-party accessories they offer, he claimed.

Refitting stores to the new v2 design costs $400,000 (£258,000) a time, the source estimated, and APRs must upgrade their locations by the end of this year or lose their status – which would cost them two to four points in margin.

He stated: “According to our calculation, if eBizcuss has 15 shops, the investment required to remain in the business as an APR v2 would be $6m to $8m… one must concede that without product to place in their shops, with unfair competition from Apple’s own pricing and regulation, with no access to iPhone, with no guarantee from Apple on any of the previous topics, it may be a very dangerous game to play.”

Is this Apple playing hardball? read more over here.

Kitguru says: Apple have a reputation for being tough to deal with, but it appears they have alienated many of the partners supporting them. Many of whom appear to be afraid to speak out.

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