Ingram Micro Australia (IM) has become an authorised Apple distributor for Australia. The agreement comes into effect immediately.
Ingram Micro will now offer iPad and iPod products and the Mac product range, as well as accessories and AppleCare products to Apple Authorised Resellers and Retailers.
The company has established a dedicated Apple team which will work closely with its reseller partners to educate them about the broad range of Apple products available.
From February 13, Apple Authorised resellers can order Apple-branded products and Apple-compatible products from more than 40 vendors via IM.
Ingram Micro Australia vice-president and managing director, Jay Miley, said, “With the depth and breadth of our reseller relationships, and our ability to deliver both Apple-branded products and Apple-compatible products from many of our existing vendor partners, we’re able to offer our reseller partners comprehensive Apple-based solutions from a single distribution partner”.
Express Online CEO, Danny Moore, said he wasn't concerned that the new partnership would affect Express Online's own Apple business.
"We have a unique value proposition, and Apple is posting growth across the board," Moore said.
"We've seen significant growth in the Apple business over the last three to four years, and while there's some macro economic concerns dampening consumer sentiment, Apple is one of the vendors bucking the trend. We expect growth to continue this year."
Express Online has access to the entire Apple portfolio, other than the iPhone.
Apple's other Australian distributor is Avnet, who declined to comment on this story.
Ingram's partnership with Apple isn't without precedent. It has partnered with the massively successful US giant globally.
Most recently, Ingram Micro New Zealand Holdings became a distributor for Apple in 2010 and had an immediate impact on that market.
The former sole distributor of Apple in NZ, Renaissance Corporation, warned shareholders last September not to expect a profit until the 2012 financial year as a combination of the Christchurch earthquake and new competition in Apple Inc. distribution had sapped earnings.
Interestingly, the news agency, Reuters, reported on October 29, 2010, that Ingram Micro was seeing strong sales of the iPad as Apple loosened the reins to allow business-to-business distribution specialists to offer the device.
Then Ingram Micro Inc CEO, Greg Spierkel, said Apple had preferred to sell the iPad to retailers but the company was increasingly letting his firm sell it to businesses.
"What it's telling us is that there's a [business to business] opportunity starting to develop for these devices, which is not necessarily where they were targeted initially," Spierkel told Reuters in an interview.
With the massive growth of bring-your-own-device in the workplace there would appear little doubt that opportunity in the enterprise has further increased and the impact of tablets, in particular the iPad, on the enterprise is expected to be even greater in the next 12 months.
Matthew Sainsbury contributed to this article