After French premium reseller eBizcuss filed its lawsuit against Apple claiming unfair competition, other resellers in Europe and the UK have chimed in with similar frustrations. ChannelWeb received comments from additional resellers echoing eBizcuss’s complaints, albeit anonymously because the resellers are afraid of repercussions that would make matters even worse.
eBizcuss’ lawsuit accuses Apple of supplying its own stores with products before supplying the resellers. This often means that resellers are short on popular items such as the iPad or MacBook Air. Resellers are also not allowed to stock iPhones, which often means they simply don’t have the products customers are looking for.
The anonymous resellers add a few more complaints to the list including Apple cutting resellers’ credit lines, and Apple’s System Integrators encroaching on the resellers’ markets of education and small-to-medium businesses.
A bigger burr under the saddle of resellers seems to be the mandatory v2 store format due by the end of this year. These redesigns can cost around $400,000 each. If they are not done by the deadline, the resellers stand to lose between 2% to 4% of their margin. According to the report, the new format will reduce the amount of third-party accessories they can offer which can be a lucrative part of their business.
An anonymous European reseller put it this way, “…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.”