Apple's resellers and distributors have universally condemned the vendor's channel restructuring programme, which has doubled the number of dealers that can buy directly from the vendor and forced wholesalers to increase their prices.
The Macintosh vendor has increased the number of dealers that purchase stock directly from 27 to about 50, a decision that has removed a large chunk of business from Ingram Micro and Computer 2000's customer base.
In response, the pair have raised the price at which they sell Apple stock to the remaining resellers by between one and two per cent.
Apple dealers that do not have a direct relationship with the vendor are now fighting to retain a competitive edge, while distributors fear they will miss out on lucrative rebates for failure to meet sales targets.
Elliot Shepherd, general manager of the Apple business unit at C2000, said: 'We have put our prices up because we have lost a number of customers to Apple's direct sales force. Through the course of last year we also suffered severe blows in the Ts&Cs of our contract. We have had to take this action to maintain our position.'
Terry Martin, director of the Macintosh division at Ingram, said the price hikes were unavoidable. 'Apple began taking back the large accounts in October and in the face of reduced revenues we can no longer keep up the level of service our resellers expect,' he said.
One reseller commented: 'It appears Apple UK is adopting the US model. We have no choice but to pass on the cost increase to the consumer.'
Apple was unavailable for comment.
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