Several people commented privately on yesterday’s blog post featuring the iPad…the writing is on the wall. People like iPad, they like Apple, they like simple, mobile, easy to use, and the status of being an Apple user. It’s cool to have an Apple…and as I attend sales meetings and conferences as a speaker, those in the Apple club often let me know when they see me pulling out my MacBook Pro..,”You’re an Apple guy, huh? Me too.”
On the other hand, those who resell technology at the SMB and consumer level are in trouble, even after Apple just finished selling 14 million units to individuals (and some companies). Lack of innovation and a lack of Google thinking…The brick and mortar book stores and technology stores are in trouble. Best Buy’s report in the Wall Street Journal was telling – their value proposition has to do with technical expertise, but apparently buyers are more concerned with price than the future need for service.
But there’s more here. Apple, at least my Apple workstation and laptop require very little support. When I bought my Dell laptop two years ago, it came with Vista. Now there’s a support nightmare. So much so that after two years I just couldn’t take it any more. So I put it in the closet and bought a Mac. Up, running, and no problems. I’ve never had a support call. With the Dell/Windows systems, not only did the software not work, but I had multiple hardware problems as well.
If you look at high-tech resellers over the past few years, many have built their business on the assumption that profit could be made on support – supporting systems that don’t work, which in turn allows them to sell hardware at a discount. What happens when someone like Apple starts producing something that does work? Or they announce something so simple and inexpensive that the user will throw it away and buy a new one – online at a discount. All of the sudden, the reseller’s new sales model begins to break down. Many of the resellers I know are making most of their profits on problems users shouldn’t be experiencing! This is destined to fail. Especially with companies like Apple gaining market share.
© 2011, David Stelzl