Computers Unlimited (CU) has vowed to carry on selling Apple's hardware after the manufacturer took the surprise decision to can the distributor but retain Ingram Micro and Computer 2000.
It was expected that Ingram would be given the chop after Apple backed down from a confrontation with the distributor, giving it three months' grace before making a final review of its channel partners at the end of this month (PC Dealer, 14 January). Resellers have continually complained about its service from Ingram, criticising the distributor for poor service and a lack of knowledge.
But Apple stunned the Mac community last week with its decision, maintaining that it wanted to go with partners that have volume capacity and considerable financial resources.
James Sansom, CU managing director, said: 'I am baffled. We don't accept this. We intend to fight this decision through a combination of legal position and through support from the channel.' He claimed CU had hit every target that Apple had set it.
Graeme Watt, Computer 2000 managing director, said: 'With the change, we are prepared to put further investment in so CU's customers have a seamless transition. Resellers will find specialist support from us as they did in CU, if not better.
CU's model is much closer to ours than Ingram's because we have geared ourselves up over a number of years, not months.'
Observers questioned what improvements Ingram had made over the past three months, maintaining they had not seen any increase in the amount of business or a shift in market share.
Ingram was expected to be axed as it does not shift the same amount of volume as Computer 2000 and because both distributors target the same customers.
In January, Apple's former sales director, Terry Martin, joined Ingram to head up its Apple division. He insisted Ingram was fully committed to Apple and had placed the necessary investment in the division to reflect this.
Apple refused to comment.
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