From a ZDNet story on Apple’s relationship with Australian carrier Telstra, quoting CEO David Tholey:
“We are Apple’s largest customer in Australia, yet with Apple we are still working through some areas in how to work.”
John Gruber writes,
There you go. He thinks his carrier is Apple’s customer. Thus the conflict, because Apple treats iPhone owners as its customers.
Who is your "real" customer? Is not sales people or the distributor or even the buyer. It's the person who uses your product. You have to get through the others to get to a customer who uses the product but if he or she isn't happy, you've not really accomplished anything.