Apple has climbed down from its decision to can Computers Unlimited (CU), after it was hit by a barrage of complaints from resellers.
The move comes one week after PC Dealer exclusively revealed that Computers Unlimited had issued a writ against the manufacturer for allegedly breaching its distributor contract (PC Dealer, 10 June).
Apple served Computers Unlimited 90 days' notice in March when it was terminated and distributors Computer 2000 and Ingram Micro were given preference. It had previously been expected that Ingram would receive its marching orders, as sources claimed the distributor was not hitting targets and did not have enough resources behind the Macintosh line.
But Jon Molyneux, Apple's managing director, confirmed last week that the manufacturer had changed its mind and decided to retain CU alongside C2000 and Ingram.
He maintained that resellers felt there was not enough time for them to change where they bought their machines and services from.
Molyneux refused to say how long CU would continue to do business with Apple, but said the contracts would be reviewed when they are due for renewal. He refused to confirm or deny the date, but it was understood this would be on 1 October.
Industry observers said they expected CU would continue doing business with Apple for a further four to five months and the two parties would end their relationship by the end of the year.
Molyneux stressed that he still believed that the UK market was only big enough for two distributors. He dismissed suggestions that the writ issued by CU had caused Apple to change its mind.
One reseller said: 'This is really good news. I'm surprised that Apple backed down, but at least it proves it does listen to its resellers.'
James Sanson, Computers Unlimited managing director, said: 'We are very happy to carry on doing business with Apple.'
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