Naughty Apple, competing with your own resellers


blog Another year rolls on and another Apple store is being planned, this time in the sunny geography known as ‘South Melbourne’. Normally this would be a cause for celebration and the creation of midnight queueing plans. But a note of bitterness has crept into the ritual: What’s that? There’s already an Apple reseller store there? Shock! Writes Raj Deut on his blog I Don’t Quite Know:

“… spare a thought for Apple reseller Computers Now. Their head office and showroom currently reside upon a corner of Clarendon St, South Melbourne’s main retail strip and what is most likely to be the home of the alluded Apple store … Salt in the wound when you consider that the two Apple retail stores currently operating in Victoria have also parked themselves squarely on Computers Now’s doorsteps, firstly at Chadstone (a store which has since closed) and Doncaster (a whole 100 metres away on the same floor of the shopping centre). Not only have Apple kicked them in the balls but I’d say they’ve fair cut them off too!”

This phenomenon is being felt in Sydney, as well. In Bondi Junction, Apple opened a new self-branded store literally 100m around the corner from the popular and successful My Mac reseller. It’s a common sight to see Apple fans lining up around the clock at the Bondi store when a big launch is on … while the My Mac store around the corner is a bit more … empty.

All this reminds us of the comments made by maverick local consumer electronics entrepreneur Ruslan Kogan earlier this year, when he claimed that resellers like JB Hi-Fi were “Apple’s bitch”. However, it doesn’t look as though Apple is planning to shut down its third-party network any time soon — the iconic technology giant is certainly taking its sweet time rolling out its own self-branded stores. At this rate it will be a decade before they cover Australia as a whole.

Image credit: Apple


  1. Oh, poor didums.

    Yes you are right, the ‘wholesaler’ should never be able to retail. As such, Telstra should close its retail arms, shell and BP should close their fuel stations and the ACCC should be given new powers to protect the ‘little guy’ businesses that sell other peoples products. All business should be only allowed to focus on one aspect of the product life cycle – Manufacturing, retail or service. Its soooo bad for the customer for there to be a manufacturer selling and supporting their own products. What next? Extended warrenties for free? Egads!

    Puleeese. I get knowledgeable and great service at an apple owned apple store. I get ignored and overcharged at an apple retailer.

    • I think that your scorn is unfounded and the reseller has a right to feel aggrieved. After supporting Apple products and being a great customer to Apple for many years by selling a shedload of Apple product, they get ‘thanked’ by having Apple set up shop next door and destroying thier business model.

      Maybe that’s just the way the world works, but at a reseller, I would be very careful about getting into bed with Apple.

  2. The iconic retail stores are more important to Apple’s retail strategy than the traditional Apple reseller, but since Compnow and others are more focused on the education and business sector than actual retail, I don’t imagine it will be a great problem for them, though certainly none of them will be expanding their number of outlets.

    The situation with retailers like Woolworths and JB Hifi is a little different and more amusing. Woolworths in particular I know never get the allocation they want which is pretty humiliating when measured against the terms and penalties they are normally able to demand from suppliers. Just goes to show the power of a successful brand.

    Kogan is going to lose that bet he made that Apple will pull out of JB HiFi. Dell alone is testament to the failure of the direct only model, and the Apple stores alone need a certain amount of traffic to work, so entertainment resellers like JB, Dick Smith and others give them a good suburban and regional reach they don’t otherwise have. What Apple doesn’t need anymore is specialist niche retailers, so if you’re not also in enterprise or education you don’t exist as far as Apple is concerned.

  3. This story hits home for me as I run an Apple reseller and service center.
    I understand the frustrations of these business owners who setup and establish a business in some very costly areas only to have Apple swoop in and setup next door.
    Unfortunately while it might seem anti competitive its Apples product we sell.
    All we can do is keep offering great service without all the limelight (i dont need all the staff to clap as i walk out with a $90 printer)
    But that is the Apple ‘experience’

    I do believe there is a high then ever need for specialist stores, if your about to setup a video production studio, would you rather goto a store that is specially setup with various cameras, mixers etc or goto an Apple Store where where you may get someone to ‘plays’ with final cut pro.

    As for Martin who says he gets overcharged, Apple set the price for the gear, so we cant overcharge, if however its the service that they are overcharging you for then you have done the right thing and found someone your happy with, but please, dont lump all resellers in the same boat.

  4. More Apple storefronts can only be a good thing for the consumer end regarding service and support.

    Getting my machines fixed with the reseller owned service centers has been hell in the past.. whereas I could (after making an appointment) walk into the Genius bar and get it done on the spot.

    I do appreciate that the resellers are at a disadvantage (having to order and send parts to Apple), but they really don’t seem to care about individual customers where the money ain’t rolling in.

  5. As Mathew says, an Apple store can fix the issue on the spot.. in alot of cases, simply because as they are owned by Apple they can afford to have a warhouse full of spare parts ready to go.
    Im afraid for a service agent its not that simple, yeah we have to order parts, Apple have a strict policy on turn around times for these repairs, but simply put, most stores cant afford to have a $2,000 locicboard laying around that only suites 1 version of 1 system, its not cost effective.

    Apple do a pretty good job of shipping parts out when needed, but its usually a 3 day turn around time from bringing it in to repaired.
    It seems though that people on here have had really poor service from repair agents. which is odd, I get paid more by Apple to fix your Macbook Pro then i would selling it to you.

    So either it seems you guys have gone to some sucky stores, or im just running a tighter ship?

    If you have an issue with a repair or the service agent, complain to Apple, trust me, they take it very seriously.

  6. This is rubbish. In Melbournes west, the fastest population growth in Australia, there isn’t an Apple shop of any description between Geelong and Melbourne CDB!! And Apple are opening on the door steps of existing resellers? Come on Apple, open were you will Make serious money were there is a need and no existing competition. BTW I don’t count JB Hi Fi as a Apple shop. I don’t understand how these choices are made.

Comments are closed.