The Macintosh community was stunned last week when CU was dropped by Apple, instead of the expected Ingram Micro (PC Dealer, 25 March).
Talking to PC Dealer last week, Jon Molyneux, Apple managing director, conceded that Ingram has made considerable progress in its service since it was put on 90 days notice in January, with the warning to turn itself around.
'Ingram is a better player now than in December. We had some concerns with Ingram but it has committed to improve its service and has improved its performance substantially.'
Molyneux pointed to the fact that Ingram now has a dedicated Apple division and is staffed by 15 full-time employees. He denied that his friendship with Terry Martin, Ingram general manager of the Apple division, had any bearing on Apple's decision to keep Ingram.
'We made a decision to give Ingram another chance to impress us before Terry joined. Ingram has really improved. It is more professional than six months ago,' said Molyneux.
Commenting on CU, Molyneux said: 'We find it an outstanding Macintosh distributor, who did a great job for us and we want it to succeed in the Mac place.' But he pointed out that CU has been in existence for 13 years - the last three with an Apple hardware contract - and so will continue to succeed in the Mac environment.
While Molyneux agreed that Apple hardware accounted for a considerable amount of CU's turnover - between 30 and 40 per cent - he pointed out that it is a 'relatively low margin business in terms of the margins available on service, software and peripherals'.
He also insisted that he had not received legal notification from Computers Unlimited, which had threatened to consult lawyers last week with a view to overturning the Apple decision. Molyneux claimed there was no reason to go back on the decision.
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