Apple resellers, service providers speak out following closure of ‘Simply Mac’

“GameStop last week announced it is closing a number of non-productive Simply Mac locations throughout the United States, less than four years after acquiring and expanding the Apple Authorized Reseller and Service Provider, which effectively serves as a third-party Apple Store in smaller markets,” Joe Rossignol reports for MacRumors.

“Following the reports, we received a tip from a disgruntled Apple Authorized Service Provider owner who said the underlying issues prompting Simply Mac’s downsizing are ‘far deeper’ than it would seem,” Rossignol reports. “He noted his own AASP is closing because Apple has ‘slowly strangled’ him on margins and with ‘free labor’ demands. ”

“Another longtime Apple Authorized Dealer and Service Provider told us that AASPs have been ‘under siege’ for years. The person, who wishes to remain anonymous, said profit margins are ‘appallingly low’ and that Apple views its authorized service partners as “nothing more than glorified TV repairmen,'” Rossignol reports. “‘I am sad to say that I do not see this changing,’ the person said. ‘Apple is highly aware of our concerns and do not seem to care. As an Apple reseller for over 20 years, I thought that when Apple became successful we would participate in that success, but we did not,” the person added.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: This is sort of the unfortunate logical result of Apple Retail Stores, Best Buy’s Apple Stores-with-Stores, etc.

ComputerWare, Computer Town, Tekserve… Which Apple reseller do you remember that is no longer in operation?

SEE ALSO:
Apple’s growing retail store success upsets some Apple resellers – August 18, 2005

19 Comments

  1. Mini-Concepts ~ Daytona Beach Florida.

    I worked for them for over a year in the early 1990s. Those WERE the dayz. It will come around again. But never, like it was, once upon a time. Help me OB1.

  2. This is the gospel, folks. Apple barely tolerates AASPs and is actively doing all that they can to drive them all out of business. While I understand that some incarnations of Mac Stores were sloppy, and really appreciate how the Apple Stores changes high tech (and all) retail forever, it’s still a case of the multi-national driving out the small and medium sized business person.

    If you’re simply a fan of Apple, and have never worked with them, it’s hard to see the dark side of this corporation that has been a shining light for many of us. But across the board, if you talk to everyone who doesn’t work directly for, but rather with Apple, you’ll hear how ruthless things can get.

    The irony is that most of these small/medium sized business people are still fans of Apple’s products, sometimes the best fans. They’re just not fans of Apple’s business practices which are ultimately designed to see them go out of business.

      1. Wow, a conspiracy theorist. Geez, I wish I was paid to comment. Ha! That would be sweet.

        No, for better or for worse, my experience and first hand knowledge of this is real, just not “news.” Clearly you’re not working in the field or your response and knowledge of the issue would be quite different.

        As far as being sued, Apple is being sued constantly. Some legit, some not. That’s not an indication of the validity of a claim. Right now there’s an interesting movement (check out iFixit.com) to force companies like Apple to sell OEM parts to whomever wants to buy them. That will be interesting to watch.

        Oh, you’re right. My comments are intentional. I tend to be intentional when I write. 😉

      2. Uhh, NO. I am good friends with an Apple Reseller who has been with them through the dark days and in the last 5 years has spent as much money as an Apple Store on fixtures, training, etc.

        The claims ARE NOT BS.

      3. You’ve obviously never worked for an Apple reseller. Their at best cavalier attitude to their business partners haven’t changed since the 80s. Love the products, the company not so much..

      4. The claims closely mirror what has happened in the high-end camera industry. Nikon has drastically limited the repair parts that they will sell to third-party repair companies. The result is that only the simplest, and cheapest, repairs are available at shops that are not part of Nikon’s ever-shrinking favorites.

      1. And if Apple decides there is not enough money to be made, they will never open an AppleStore there either. Are they still offering the Authorized Repair Center licensing there?

  3. First Apple created the Apple Stores to serve the Mac customer.
    Then they abandoned the Mac customer. I hear the Apple Store commonly referred to as the iPhone Store. Thanks, Tim.

    Then Apple has systemically fucked over value added resellers, etc.

    And they wonder why sales are stagnant.

    If the Facebook, Snap and Candy Crush crowd get the hots for some Fandroid device it could get hard out there for an Apple Pimp. iOS will eventually be supplanted in the marketplace by something and I doubt it will come from anyone within Apple

    Apple seems more concerned with watch bands and rental rap than anything Steve Jobs started.

  4. This is a problem for Apple. Going to a local store loaded with Apple fanatics just like you was the appeal of the independent resellers. At first Apple Stores were loaded with folks that were pre-OS X Max users. So that organic camaraderie from independent reseller days still existed. Now the readers of this site know more than the average “Mac Genius”.

  5. In my town the Apple Store retail employees actively steer customers with out of warranty hardware to another in-town repair shop because it’s significantly cheaper than to have Apple do the repair.

  6. The independent service dealer near where I work has saved our ass a number of times. Apple has seriously become too big for their own britches. For the first time in years, in 2016, I did not buy an Apple product and do not foresee doing so in 2017. A new iMac would have gotten me into a store and I am sure a new iPad would have made the trip out along with the new iMac. Even going into the stores is no longer any fun. They have lost the edge. I hope they can find renters for the space ship. I know, I ramble. But I can’t put down coherently how disappointed I am with Apple.

  7. In Sydney, I loved visiting Apple Next Byte Stores. They were small, simple, had all you needed and you could play around with stuff.

    But two of them went under as soon as Apple Stores opened literally up the road from them. Sure you can play around in an Apple Store but they’re big and crowded.

    There’s something to be said for small retail.

    1. I find them very annoying and pretentious these days filled with kids who only know how to follow Apple protocols and have very little creative problem solving abilities. That being said, they’re superior to anything that ever existed in the corporate field.

      But that’s not the point.

      The point is, let them be as great as they can. Criticize when necessary, praise when you’re happy. Still not that point. The point is that Apple is actively engaged in driving all 3rd party support and repair centers out of business by denying them access to parts, reasonable margins, loads of red tape, and dozens and dozens of other tactics. This is not news. You can read more about it all over the web.

      Similar to Toyota, you should not have to take your RAV4 to a dealer for every little consult and pay highly inflated, monopolistic prices because the local garage doesn’t have the parts or basic information to repair them. We should have freedom of choice and a reasonably level playing field. We don’t.

      Apple views every piece of hardware and every person who buy it as THEIR customer. I’ve been in meetings where that was clearly, specifically articulated in no uncertain terms. Apple’s corporate philosophy is that THEY own everything after purchase. The hardware, the software, AND the human who bought it. It’s a little weird when you actually hear Apple reps say that. Kinda creepy. But it’s there.

      Apple wants the whole pie, every piece and they really just barely tolerate 3rd party stores that (in their mind) feed off the droppings.

      The AppleStores can be a great experience for purchasing a new Apple product, and they’re good for repairs for many. But 3rd party service outlets can offer a personalized experience of trust and older mechanics that the AppleStore will never touch with all of their bright and shiny GAP/Banana Republic approach. I’ve run them and find that once people see how much faster and more personalized the service is (where you actually can develop a relationship like that of a plumber, or electrician), they never go back to talk to the 12 year olds in bright T-Shirts that we’re supposed to call “Geniuses.” 😉

      Apple has said time and time again that they want to complete by just being the best in the space. They don’t compete on price, and they don’t complete on availability (“special” orders with enough RAM take a long time). They have always competed on making the most excellent product out there that just drives people to pay a lot more for greater ease and quality. They don’t need to, and should not be completing by driving the faithful into bankruptcy with transparent, ruthless tactics.

      Go after Google, go after Android, Samsung, Qualcomm and whoever, but give the small American business people a break, Apple. Your corporate philosophy needs to evolve and return to innovation and seeing where the hockey puck will be, NOT driving all of the Zamboni drivers out of business.

      Just my experience. You’re mileage may vary…

  8. I’m not great with html, but I think there’s a simple way to add a byline to the beginning of my blog posts under the title. Is there anywhere I can find a step-by-step guide on how to do this?. The blog is set up on WordPress, and is using the pilcrow theme – I hope this helps?.

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