PAUL Johnston is laughing Apples, even though they’re in short supply.
The Renaissance general manager and face of Apple New Zealand was upbeat before a crowd of several hundred Apple resellers and partners last week, as he detailed growing business and a raft of new products.
Apple is doing “very, very well”; with Dell, it is one of “only two companies making money from building computers”.
Revenue is increasing 20-25% a year and given falling computer prices, that means unit sales are growing even faster. However, demand is growing so fast, the US company can not supply enough.
“They are shipping products as fast as they can make them. Supplies are quickening up and we expect the shortage to ease significantly in the next few weeks.”
Johnston credits a 180% growth in Apple’s retail market for most of the sales growth.
The consumer market, with products like iPod, is driving the growth and the vendor is investing in retail space.
MagnumMac is training store staff and the Ubertech Apple store in Parnell, Auckland, plus two Apple centres in Hamilton and Tauranga, have been refurbished. Renaissance also plans to upgrade the “Apple spaces” at mass retailers, including Pacific Retail Group and Harvey Norman, through which it sells.
“An improved buying experience drives retail sales,” says Johnston.
New Apple products outlined by Johnston included the Powermac G5, iMac G5, 30-inch Apple Cinema screen and second releases of Microsoft Office and the Filemaker database for Mac OS X.
A new version of OS X, called Tiger, would arrive in the first half of 2005, in place of the existing Panther version.
The vendor is running promotions on Panther upgrades, the .Mac Internet tool suite and video editor Final Cut Express.