Stock shortages disrupt Mac sales

Stock shortages disrupt Mac sales

COMPARING his fate with the song “A Pub with No Beer”, Magnum-Mac head Murray Wood says he is running out of excuses for customers whom he is unable to supply with Apple products.

Like Apple resellers across the country, and elsewhere in the world, the country’s largest Mac specialist can not get sufficient supplies of iMacs, PowerBooks or iPod Minis.

Wood claims his back-orders top a record $1.7 million with no relief coming before late in the month.

Apple resellers say the shortage is frustrating customers, they are losing trade, and if it persists, some will move to selling PCs.

Traders do not blame Apple distributor Renaissance but point the finger at Apple in the US for not meeting demand. Christchurch-based Wood and other resellers also blame Apple for supplying its own stores first, a claim that has led US resellers to take action against the vendor.

“As a reseller we have no control whatsoever. We get no ETAs. But I don’t blame Renaissance. It is as frustrated as I am.”

At present, customers are “keeping faith”, Wood says, but other resellers already claim they and Apple are paying the price.

Karen Hughes, manager of Ubertech in Auckland, reports lost trade, and while she says stock is “dripping through”, she fears disrupted cashflow from sudden or late delivery. But she does not want to get “too grumpy, in case you don’t get any stock”.

Auckland-based Electric Box says G5s have been in “very tight supply for two months”.

Co-owner Ruth Bliss says the original iMacs were in short supply some years ago and most resellers learnt from that.

“We learnt a long time ago that diversification is good. We sell a lot of PCs,” Bliss says.

In Queenstown, Greg Thompson, owner of MacAssist, says shortages of iPods and PowerBooks have worsened in the past month.

“Customers are getting really pissed off. They say this is nuts. It’s hurting Apple now.

“I may be tempted to go to the dark side unless Apple gets its act together,” he says.

Renaissance spokesperson Bronwyn Sinclair says stock is arriving, although not at the rate needed.

“All resellers can do is order ahead of what they think they will need. This gets them in the queue and stock gets allocated to them.”

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