Apple resellers in Australia have been told to make a choice - be 100 per cent faithful to Apple or lose all support. A letter and white paper sent to Apple's authorised resellers during the holiday break by Apple Australia GM Steve Rust made it clear that Apple won't tolerate resellers who want to straddle the fence between Apple and the clone manufacturers.
Despite strong words warning recipients that the document was highly confidential, and not to be shown to any outsiders, a number of resellers were so upset by the tone of the letter that they sent copies to ARN and other computer journals.
Rust's letter talks about the way clone manufacturers are "wooing our channel partners" and how Apple is now showing its full strength. Rust's core message is summed up in this paragraph from the letter.
"If a channel member chooses to sell clones, naturally that's their own right. However, they should not expect a single dollar of Apple's money, nor a single minute of our staff 's time, nor a gram of our expensive and hard-won brand image to help them do it. It's as simple as that."
He tempers this with a promise that loyal resellers can count on Apple's total support.
The white paper deals with the question of clones undercutting Apple pricing, quality, local support, demand generation, attractive terms, quality improvements, competitive information and full protection against price drops. It also warns Apple resellers that attempts will be made to poach their best staff.