Doe's Apricot deserve success in the market ?
"Apricot has made this decision to ensure customers have a smooth installation of their operating system"
Are you planning to sell the computers to your customers without an operating system installed ? Or, can't you provide a Linux restore disk like the Windows one ? And if you can't manage that why should anyone buy a computer from you ?
"The Linux version proved too complicated with initial testers, who would opt to purchase and install XP any way"
Translation: Our "initial testers" were desktop Windows XP users who want XP on their desktops, their notebooks, their netbooks, and wont buy an iPhone because it doesn't run XP and they probably don't have any real use for a netbook anyway. Also, they spat the dummy when they couldn't find the Internet Explorer icon thingy.
What you're telling us is that you don't want to do the work necessary to bring a real quality product to market. And that you've got your target market wrong.
"Apricot believes that this will be a more attractive product offering for their target customers, because as soon as it is switched on, it is ready for use."
If its not "ready for use" when the customer turns it on, thats not the fault of any GNU/Linux distribution, thats your fault.
So basically Apricot, what you're telling us is that you're not nearly as motivated as Asus, or Acer, or Dell, and you therefore don't deserve that piece of market share that others are putting a lot more work into capturing than you are.
I'll get my coat...