Apple has announced a revamp of its channel strategy, currently for the US, that will make life easier for Apple-only resellers, but stands to alienate multivendor dealers.
Apple specialists are to be offered better incentives and higher levels of soft dollar margins if 70 per cent of their CPU business is Apple-only. Generalised mass merchandise resellers are to be provided with "unspecified" marketing benefits.
Graham Mackie, managing director of Fraser Associates, an Apple/multivendor reseller in the UK, said he was pleased that Apple has "got to grips with a lot of issues recently", but thinks: ?It is a fallacy to promote Apple-only resellers. No business could succeed on an Apple-only strategy. They will establish elitism in niche markets which doesn?t work in the broad-based PC market.?
Frank O?Mahoney, a spokesperson for Apple, claims the company?s strategy is balanced. ?We are following a two-pronged strategy, working to help Apple specialists and those with mass market type skills.? According to O?Mahoney the company also aims to improve resellers' access to products through its distribution network. ?We want to discourage the reseller from buying direct from Apple and to buy from wholesalers instead,? he added.
Apple?s new volume levels are $5 million for retailers for Performa products; $10 million for direct mail catalogues; and $20 million for the channel for Mac products and peripherals. Previously the levels were set for retailers for Performa at $1 million, while the Mac product and peripherals level was $5 million.
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