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Old February 22nd, 2005, 10:53 AM   #1
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Apple being sued

http://news.com.com/Apple+resellers%...l?tag=nefd.top
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Old February 22nd, 2005, 01:19 PM   #2
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There was an Apple reseller located about 2 blocks from where an Apple store opened up. It took about 6 months to close the reseller down...they guy who owned it (from what I remember hearing somewhere) blamed Apple. It was pretty obvious Apple didn't give a crap about the guy...opening an Apple store 2 blocks away? Of course Apple has more resources to get people in there...so, it's the way it goes...corporate is eating the mom and pops. It won't end..
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Old February 22nd, 2005, 03:17 PM   #3
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Unfortunately the PC business is changing pretty rapidly and a lot of little guys are going to be squashed in both the Windows and Mac universes. I think this is just a consequence of the commoditization of the industry. I don't know enough about the details to have an opinion on whether these unhappy dealers got screwed or not. However I do know that Apple's marketing was pretty unimpressive for many years. Concentrating sales in the company stores, and now moving more into big box stores has done wonders for the Mac platform. In the end that benefits all Mac users because prices go down, there are more places to buy Macs and there is more software. It is too bad that those little "mom and pop" places who kept the faith during the tough times are now getting squeezed out though.

On the Windows side I think it's even more brutal. Compaq is gone. HP will probably be split apart. Gateway went to the brink of oblivion and now is slowly bouncing back as the result of their purchase of eMachines, giving them shelf space at CompUSA, Best Buy and Circuit City. IBM is selling their whole PC division. And Dell has forced everyone into a price war that Dell are sure to win - and they have no stores at all, so as they gain market share more people in the bricks and mortar stores will lose their jobs.

I suppose the whole thing might be compared to what happened to the corner hardware store in the age of Lowes and Home Depot. The little guys who found a good niche - through location or specialization - are the only ones who survived since they can't hope to compete on price.
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Old February 22nd, 2005, 04:25 PM   #4
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I think Apple is crazy not to pamper the mom and pop stores. This platform needs as much availability as it can get. The tech support services from those Apple stores (at least the one in my area) are a complete joke. Their sales people are about as knowledgeable as a typical Best Buy employee. I don't see this as a positive step for the platform and its users at all. There's an independent Mac retail and service store in my area that has been very smart in courting local filmmakers and promoting their work. They're friendly, helpful, and cost competitive. To think that Apple would intentionally squeeze a business like that in favor of its worthless mall-based eye candy chain makes me downright angry.
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Old February 22nd, 2005, 05:06 PM   #5
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Is your local store part of this lawsuit? It sounds like they are doing well. If the suit has merit then the courts will order some sort of settlement. I used to buy Macs from local stores, but they all long gone (8 to 10 years ago). Heck, I bought my Apple ][ from a little local dealer in Pittsburgh back in 1978. I'm a big believer in using local merchants.

But it's obvious that these little stores weren't getting Apple's products into the mainstream. The decision to open company stores was the right thing for Apple to do. Frankly, they might not be here at all without them. Because Mac supporters tend to be so passionate I think they often lose fact of that Apple is a business, not a religion, and not our "mommy."

Regarding service, a story in the March MacWorld (p20) points to the cover story on a recent Consumer Reports. They report that consumer satisfaction with with computer service is one of the lowest rated areas they cover. They cite a 76% customer satisfaction rating for Apple support, 57% for Dell and 52% for HP. They quote Consumer Reports as saying:
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Apple's superiority in all aspects of support, including waiting on the phone and web support, suggest that it invests its support resources wisely.
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Old February 22nd, 2005, 07:44 PM   #6
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Apple obviously does a lot of things right. I'm not knocking them on service overall, but I do find their Apple stores (again, based solely on my experience with a single store), to be fairly useless for service. I do agree that opening all those mall based chains was a smart thing to do and gives them needed visibility, but using that leverage to squeeze out smaller operations is counter productive, and business or not, just plain mean. As you say, we don't know if the cases have merit, but the accusations have a familiar smell about them.
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