Specialist distributor MacSense has poached Apple's former third-party upgrades manager, John Clift.
After 11 years at Apple, he will now act as the company's upgrades business development manager while MacSense managing director, John Khoo, will concentrate on growing sales of high-value, low-volume products.
Khoo said the distributor could now leverage Clift's channel and Apple relationships to wrest a greater share of the Mac upgrades market.
"Around the time Apple was rumoured to drop its third-party upgrades business other guys rushed in and went straight after Apple's resellers," he said. "I tried to do the right thing and waited until the announcement was official but that was a mistake. Now with John onboard, we will try to win these people back."
With the appointment MacSense would seek to grow its share of the Mac upgrades market up to about 45 per cent within six months, Khoo said. "When Apple dropped its third party business maybe 10 per cent of the channel was buying from me whereas up to 70 per cent was buying from Apple," he said. "So there is a huge opportunity there if we can pull those customers back."
Despite the optimism, Khoo said the company would have to work hard to undo reseller relationships formed with alternative suppliers following Apple's decision in November.
"Hopefully, John can persuade them to take us on as a second supplier then they will see who gives better service," he said.
Looking to further differentiate itself in the market place, the distributor had also launched a new RAM buy-back program on the back of the recent release of the Mac Mini, Khoo said.
"Resellers return the original, lower RAM to me and I replace it with higher RAM. Because it is Apple RAM I can make them into pairs and sell them again," he said.
"That way the dealers make more money than they normally would and I am providing a service at the same time. You have to look at ways to add value to your channel."