KH Distribution is launching a reseller recruitment drive to service major growth it expects to see in the consumer market for the iMac and recently launched Mac Mini. The news follows the recent addition of Express Online to Apple's distribution ranks alongside KH and IT Wholesale.
"There's been a lot of bad press over the years that Apple is a closed shop but we want to change that perception and get resellers thinking about it," KH managing director, Keith Rice, said. "Regional markets will be a key focus [of these recruitments] because there are limited opportunities for end-users in those areas to buy Apple at the moment. Having said that, we won't say no to anybody in the cities that wants to talk to us."
The launch of the iPod in Australia at the back end of last year has opened up the Apple brand to a much broader PC market, which has traditionally viewed the vendor's products as something of an island because it uses a different operating system. It has also been seen as a premium brand with a price tag to suit, but the Mac Mini, which is available for less than $1000, could change all that.
"We find PC resellers like the idea of having Apple as a focus in their store," Rice said.
"In regional areas there would not be enough business to have an Apple-only store but the Mac Mini is an ideal opportunity for PC users to dabble in the Mac environment. We haven't even scratched the surface of this potential market yet."
To make its proposition more attractive to potential resellers, KH is currently adding 'where to buy' functionality to its website. This will allow consumers to browse according to geographical location and find particular areas of dealer expertise defined by two categories: technology - iPod, computers, monitors, servers and storage, software or accessories; and vertical focus - retail, education, government, corporate, print, design and graphics, music or other.
Resellers will also be able to promote themselves as a service provider of onsite support and/or installations.KH currently has about 450 resellers on its books, of which Rice estimated half bought from the distributor every quarter.