Resellers sue Apple

TR reader Yin Chan pointed me to this interesting article on a number of Mac resellers that are suing Apple for breach of contract and fraud. If the allegations are true, Apple has treated at least some of its resellers quite poorly.

It seems a little odd to me that a company that brands its computers as cute, friendly, and easy to interact with is being accused of trying to steal business from its resellers, denying resellers the latest Apple products, and engaging in deceptive accounting practices, among other things. Isn't Apple supposed to be all cute and cuddly?

Apple's resellers are also unimpressed with the company's bid to open more Apple Store retail locations, which makes me wonder if Apple isn't trying to extend its level of retail control. Because Apple's machines are very much about aesthetics and software, giving prospective buyers a retail location to check out and play with Macs first hand is especially important. It'd imagine it's quite difficult to effectively nurture a potential /switcher's infatuation over the Internet, and not all consumers will so moved by Jeff Goldblum's soothing voice that they'll surf to Apple's online store immediately after seeing the latest PowerBook commercial. If Apple deems that its own stores are essential for driving sales and promoting the Mac culture, resellers could be in for a rough ride.

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