Perhaps the writing was on the wall when Apple starting opening Apple Stores around the country. But as Apple’s star has risen over recent years, more retailers have taken to stocking their products. Back when I bought my first Mac, I had to find a specialist Mac reseller. But today, there are several Apple Stores and large retailers like David Jones, JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman and Dick Smith Electronics all sell Apple products.
Heck, Big W, Target and other general merchandisers carry the iPad, iPod and iPhone now.
So, the days of the Apple specialist seem numbered. In my home city, Melbourne, it seems that only My Mac has survived – and that was after a very Apple Store-like refurbishment that may have been assisted by Apple. And if Apple ever builds a CBD store in Melbourne, we’re not sure it would survive either.
Next Byte’s problem was that it had great locations – locations so good Apple set up not far away. From memory, when Apple opened its Chadstone store, the nearby Next Byte was gone a few months later
Apple is no longer a niche company. And that’s reflected in how its products are marketed and sold. You can buy a Mac from any number of resellers in most suburban shopping malls. When I bought my first Mac about 15 years ago, getting a video adapter or second power supply involved packing a cut lunch and a map. Now, resellers are everywhere.
Next Byte’s owner, the Vita Group, says it’ll be trying to redeploy staff to other parts of the company. It operates almost 140 Telstra-branded retail stores, Telstra Business Centres, Fone Zone stores and One Zero stores nationwide.
So, vale Next Byte. I bought my first Mac from you – a 12in iBook.