New iPad! New iPad! New iPad! Ooooh, look – new iPad! That’s essentially what most consumer tech journalists could have written 100 times over, to save themselves the bother of talking about retina screens (who cares?), A5X Cortex-A9 chipsets (what the Dickens?) and 4G LTE support (like, blah and stuff). It’s a different story for the channel press, given Apple’s notoriously antipathetic relationship with resellers. But sources among the Mac maker’s partners indicated that, for once, VARs were set to have “hundreds” of units to punt on launch day. In worse news, they can now expect to be invaded by a stampede of squealing numpties with BAPE jeans, pretend glasses and a fat wodge of their parents’ hard-earned.
It’s important to enjoy your work and the piracy police have long seemed to take pleasure in kicking ass and taking names (legally speaking) in pursuit of a pirate-free world. The software heavies had a bonzer time of it last week, settling with Blackpool-based building outfit George Morrison for the princely sum of ￡10,000. Meanwhile US authorities won the right to extradite Richard O’Dwyer, who apparently told the world they could find hooky films on the internet!? (I know, we’re as shocked as you). American legal eagles are also coming down hard on Southampton pub The Hobbit for breaking copyright rules relating to the Tolkien tome. Scary times. One member of Team CRN has already gone into hiding with their three goldfish: Frodo, Aragorn and Windows XP.
The reseller and services outfit celebrated a corker last week after its share price shot up on the back of solid end-of-year results. Computacenter revealed its sixth consecutive year of profit growth, with a particularly strong performance in France and Germany, and boasted a positive pipeline across the group for the rest of 2012. Chief executive Mike Norris was in a particularly good mood – unsurprising as it is under his leadership that Computa¬center has flourished year on year. Trebles all round, we think.
Channel types dreaming of a time when cloud service outages are no more had their hopes cruelly dashed this week by disaster recovery vendor VirtualSharp. The loose-lipped Spanish firm claimed the cloud is at least five years away from being an outage-free place and you’d be a damn fool to think otherwise. Well, we made that last bit up, but you get the idea. The firm’s chief, Carlos Escapa, warned: “Clouds are not cute, fluffy things. They are more like the steel mills of the late 19th century and they break easily.” Although, one hopes, the risk of contracting consumption in the cloud is lower.
The Channel Islands
We wouldn’t want to pre-empt a judicial review, but as CRN went to press Jersey and Guernsey’s last-gasp attempt to prevent the government abolishing a VAT loophole its mail order industry has thrived on for decades hung in the balance. Play, Amazon et al – and a host of smaller consumables and components resellers – have moved to the Channel Islands’ fair shores in recent years to exploit Low-Value Consignment Relief on goods costing ￡15 or less. With tax relief possibly out the window, the only thing the British Crown Dependencies will be famous for is Bergerac.
NB: This was written BEFORE the judgement was made in case any pedants have a gripe.
Game Group sent shudders through the high street last week as it admitted its shares may be worthless. Key suppliers are now giving the embattled retailer a wide berth as crisis talks with lenders continue. According to reports, management have been given two weeks to find a solution or face up to the inevitability of administration. “It is uncertain whether any of the solutions being explored will be successful or will result in any value being attributed to the shares of the company,” the firm stated. Let’s hope they find a buyer as otherwise it would be a sad end for what is a true stalwart of the high street.
CEO Graeme Watt admits the trading climate is becoming a little more uncertain as he and CFO Graham Charlton reflect on the reseller's £1bn year
Security vendor appoints Infinigate as part of strategy to grow channel business
As the trade war between the US and China ramps up, Marian McHugh investigates what impact this will have on UK prices and how partners are adapting to higher costs
CRN quizzes Avaya CEO Jim Chirico on the firm's progress after exiting Chapter 11 earlier this year, and listing on the stock exchange