Early in July, seven of Australia’s major Apple Channel partners released a proposal to merge operations, to “capitalise on buoyant and increasing market share of Apple Computer in Australia”.
With the merger of Choice Connections, DesignWyse, GM Computer, Mac’s Place, Manning Computers, Next Byte and Status Graph, we will see the creation of the largest Apple Channel Partner, with over 30 retails locations, along with a significant portion of the professional market division and Apple Education Centres.
At this stage the “Merger Group” have not released a name for new entity, but they have said they plan to list on the ASX.
What effect will the merger have?
According to the press release, business gains for the new entity would potentially include:
- consolidation and streamlining of the business
- leveraging specialised technical resources across the entire group
- access to pooled funding for expansion and continued growth
- new AppleCentre locations in key retail areas nationally
So in plain terms for the average consumer this could actually mean lower prices. Not necessarily on the base Apple Systems, as Apple offers a single wholesale price regardless of size of the order, but third party products that may include RAM, printers, scanners and software would probably have savings to be passed on the end consumer.
After the failed attempts of Apple Computer Australia to break in to the “retail chain market” with alliances with Myer/Grace Bros, Harvey Norman, Clive Peterson and more recently OptusWorld, a large national specialised and experienced Macintosh Sales and Support organisation with stores in major regional shopping centres will be a great benefit for both new and existing Macintosh users as we should see an even greater market penetration with consumers having easier access and exposure to the Apple range of iMac’s, iBooks, G4 Desktops and PowerBooks.
Is this a Good Thing?
I personally believe this will be a good thing for the average Australian Apple Macintosh User. As mentioned before, the potential increased market penetration and exposure can only benefit us.
There will still be about 60 other Apple dealers including other AppleCentres like Desktop Power and independent dealers like Metek and Palaeographics.
The merger also has the support of Apple Computer Australia, whose Managing Director, Ms Diana Ryall, said “We believe the merger partners have made a strong commitment in combining resources to provide better brand advocacy and the best possible buying experience for Apple customers. We support them, and Apple’s other Australian resellers efforts to advance our business while delivering exceptional service to our customers,” and the ACCC is not expected to object to the merger.”
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