News Brief: Apple, Ingram Micro, OziSoft

News Brief: Apple, Ingram Micro, OziSoft

Apple warns of Q1 loss

Apple Computer has warned it expects to report its first loss in three years for its first fiscal quarter of 2001.

Due to slower-than-expected sales in October and November, Apple expects both its first-quarter earnings and revenue to be well below its previous expectations. The first quarter is due to close on December 30, with the final results to be announced on January 17.

Apple is predicting it will record a net loss of between $US225 million and $250 million, on revenue of around $1 billion. This latest revenue estimate is $600 million less than the company had forecast on October 18 on the release of its fourth-quarter results. Apple said the revenue shortfall is related to lower-than-expected channel sales worldwide, while the net loss is related to cancellation charges for components.

Rust under the Ingram microscope

Steve Rust is now the centre of channel attention just two weeks into the job as managing director at Ingram Micro Australia.

Resellers and distributors alike are watching to see if the former Nortel, Apple and HiSoft identity can turn around the distributor's operations.

Rust is faced with taking on Australia's largest IT distributor at its own logistics game. He recently told ARN that his initial task will be to understand the business. "The first thing I'll be doing is finding out what the current situation is by talking to resellers," he said.

Rust himself worked at reseller HiSoft in the 80s, so combined with his vendor experience, he reports working for a distributor rounds out his IT industry career.

The popular industry figure has had a colourful past in the channel, as MD of Apple Australia, then Bay Networks, followed by a stint as Nortel's enterprise solutions managing director after that company's acquisition of Bay Networks.

OziSoft scores EON games deal

OziSoft has secured a distribution deal with games publishing newcomer EON Digital Entertainment.

Founded by former Activision managing director John Burns in April this year, EON has acquired the publishing rights to a number of high-profile Japanese titles including Taito, Fujimic and TYO. It will also publish games from UK developer outfit The Bitmap Bros.

OziSoft will handle EON distribution throughout Australia and New Zealand. Plans are also afoot to move into the Asian market next year. The company will begin distributing upcoming releases such as strategy title Z 2: Steel Soldiers, Formula Nippon for PlayStation and Chaos Break from Taito to retailers early next year.

OziSoft managing director Gerard Noonan said the company saw EON as having "a big future" in the Australasian market.

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