Apple leaves resellers in the dark over iPad delay

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Apple leaves resellers in the dark over iPad delay

Steve Bardel was not one of those today screaming for the blood of Apple chief executive officer, Steve Jobs.

Bardel, owner of Apple premium reseller MyMac in Sydney's eastern suburb of Bondi Junction, was relieved at Apple's plan to delay the iPad's Australian launch to next month because it gives him time to build his accessory inventory.

Conceding that IT resellers barely survived on hardware sales, Bardel told CRN that he was "worried" his shop wasn't going to have enough accessories by the end of this month, when the device was to be in shops.

"We're looking forward to the accessory add-on sales," Bardel said.

"We've placed orders with suppliers, so when I heard the launch had been pushed back I was relieved, the fact that it's been held back is great."

Bardel said screen protectors and stands will be popular, although he admitted he will have a better idea what will be in demand once it's in customers' hands.

He said the high US demand blamed by Apple for its change of heart "excited" him.

"Like they say, they didn't realise they were going to sell so many, so quick.

"We're just happy as an Apple premium reseller to be included in anything that they've got coming out with the iPad."

He stopped short of confirming that his shop will sell the product: "I don't want to comment on whether we'll be stocking the iPad, I'm just happy the product is coming and potentially we may be included". Apple said it will announce international prices and take online orders on 10 May.

But a few suburbs to the west in Surry Hills, Arthus Pennas, owner of Apple professional reseller Powermedia, was shocked when CRN told him the news because Apple had not told resellers.

He was surprised because he had just signed his contract to sell the iPad and was expecting it to be in his shop this week.

"I was told end of the month just last Friday. We only just signed a contract on Friday," Pennas said. Apple asked resellers last Thursday night to sign contracts to sell the iPad, he said.

"I was told by the channel manager that it's going to be released at the end of the month.

"And I walked to the Apple store [in Sydney] and they said the same thing," he told CRN.

"That's a month worth of business well, actually, two months. The funny thing is they released new laptops yesterday and they're in stock today."

But Apple has left authorised Apple reseller Userland Australia's Ted Markstein in the dark, said the dealer from Katoomba in the Blue Mountains of NSW.

"We've been told zero, we found out this morning like everyone else did.

"We still don't know if Apple will release it generally to the resellers.

"It's entirely possible that it will only go to the mass-marketers as well as Apple," he told CRN.

Five to 20 customers visit his back lane shop each day asking for the device, which means the "iPad is going to be big", he said.

"I'm not upset about anything. I would like them in so we can sell them. I'm looking forward to seeing it and getting a whole lot of new customers.

"There's no doubt it's going to be mega, it's already proved that by Apple not anticipating enough demand even in the States. It's going to be huge.

"It's a great product, but there's nothing I can do.

"At this point I'm interested to see if Apple will change its attitudes on iPhones following the hype of the iPad, and then releasing them generally as well.

"We can't buy iPhones and sell them. The only way we can do that is if we contract up with the telcos and I'm picky with who I do business with."

Matthew Green, managing director at Apple professional reseller Creative Folks, an IT services provider for the creative industry, said the delay impacts a part of his business.

"A large part of our core business is the development and integration of publishing solutions utilising the Adobe Creative Suite and WoodWing's Enterprise Publishing Tools," Green said.

"This combination of products allows us to implement collaborative workflows so that teams of writers, copy editors, art directors and photo editors can work simultaneously and securely on the same content.

"The delay of the iPad will not impact this part of our business," Green told CRN.

However, WoodWing has also developed digital magazine publishing tools, which has been implemented by Time in the US. 

The delay makes it difficult for the business to demonstrate and develop the solution for local publishers, said Green.

"Publishers will be reluctant to invest in producing digital magazines until there is a significant pool of potential customers to sell their product to.

"The upside is that WoodWing's solutions are modular so our clients can still take advantage of the workflow efficiencies for their print, web, mobile and social media strategies now and then add digital magazines at a later stage.

"Creative Folks are not an Apple Centre so the impact on general Apple business will be negligible," he said.

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