Apple reinvesting in South Africa - TechCentral

Apple reinvesting in South Africa

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The world’s biggest technology company, Apple, has quietly established a South African office and now appears set to grow its presence in the local market.

It’s the first time the company has had a direct office in South Africa since 1999, when it disinvested in favour of a distributor model.

The company has appointed French national Nicolas Rochas as country manager. Rochas has been with Apple since 2004 and has worked for the company in France, the UK and India.

Rochas was on Wednesday reluctant to comment immediately on Apple’s plans for its South African office.

However, well-placed industry sources tell TechCentral that the office has been established, at least at first, to focus mainly on managing Apple’s relationships with local mobile operators, specifically around sales of the iPhone, which it has always sold directly to the network providers rather than through a local distributor.

According to industry sources, it has been difficult for Apple to manage its relationship with South African operators remotely, which is what it has done until now.

Backing this up is the fact that Apple has hired former Huawei South Africa sales director Michael Marcus as head of telecoms in the new subsidiary. Marcus has years of telecommunications industry experience, having also spent three years as a senior commercial leader at BlackBerry and before that as a key account manager at Samsung in South Africa.

It appears Apple’s decision to invest in a local office will not affect the company’s relationship with Core Group, which has distributed its computer products — Macs, iPods and iPads — on an exclusive basis for many years.

Core is expected to continue to manage the distribution of these products in the South African market. A spokesman for Core could, however, not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

Apple products have been available in South Africa since the launch of the Mac in 1984, through a thriving grey market that existed prior to the end of apartheid when its computers were imported through a distributor in Botswana.

Apple established a direct presence in South Africa in 1992, but withdrew in late 1999 for financial reasons, according to the local subsidiary’s former marketing manager, Brian Seligmann.  — © 2015 NewsCentral Media

9 Comments

  1. CharlieTango on

    The current distribution model hasn’t grown Apple’s Mac market share in SA – if anything it has probably dropped. Maybe Apple SA will see the light and fix it.

  2. Gheez you can talk crap all day long. Exactly where is this Apple advertising defecate that you are waxing about.

  3. Jan Chrzciciel on

    You did mean this, didn’t you?

    defecate

    ˈdɛfɪkeɪt,ˈdiːf-/

    verb

    discharge faeces from the body.

    synonyms:excrete, pass/discharge/excrete faeces, have a bowel movement, have a BM, evacuate one’s bowels, open one’s bowels, void excrement,relieve oneself, go to the lavatory;

  4. Anthony Bingham on

    It’s pity that the Core Group is still involved – if there ever was a company that didn’t deserve the Apple distributorship , it’s the Core Group – I wonder if the management of Apple’s new local office realise that Apple customers in SA generally have a strong dislike of the Core Group – I wonder what they will do about it?

  5. Gerrit Fouche on

    Agreed! I contacted them a day or two after an Apple Event launch with a question about the new product and they didn’t even know there was a launch a day or two before

  6. Apple pulled out of the local market at the end of 2004, despite the
    efforts of the local office at the time of performing those activities
    that were critical to establishing a solid base for the brand at the
    time. The reality of this type of business is that when one “hands” over
    a brand as big as what Apple is to a 3rd party, it will clearly
    compromise the brand in a huge way as can be clearly read and heard from
    a number of unhappy Apple customers. The mere fact that Apple has
    indeed established itself in the local market as well as it has is
    largely due to the value of the brand and the product and not in any way
    as a result of anything the local distributor may have done.

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