updated 01:35 am EDT, Thu June 21, 2012
Retina display MacBook Pros excluded from program
On the same day that word leaked out about substantial new raises for Apple retail store employees, the company began a promised program that offered an additional $500 off selected Mac models and $250 off iPads, as mentioned by Tim Cook in a town hall meeting in January. While Retina MacBook Pros and Mac minis are excluded from the program, the price break is on top of employees' normal 25 percent discount.
The program does have some catches: the discount can only be employed once every three years, and employees must have been with the company past the 90-day probationary period. The salary increases, promised by new retail chief John Browett last month, are larger than were initially announced. Apple has traditionally raised workers' wages by two to five percent per year employed, but Browett opted to implement the increases early (they normally happen in September) and give workers an increase of up to 25 percent depending on store performance and individual merit.
Salaries have been a major issue between Apple and its retail workers. Employees have complained that despite generating more revenue per square foot than any other company in retail by a wide margin, the pay rate for most workers is not much higher than most speciality mall workers. Microsoft retail stores have been able to take advantage of some employee dissatisfaction by poaching Apple Store employees with promises of perks, signing bonuses and promotion opportunities, the latter of which are hard to come by at most Apple retail stores.
The discount is not extended to the Mac mini for obvious reasons (the low price of the machines would, if all discounts were applied, make them essentially free), but no explanation was given for the exclusion of the Retina MacBook Pro models. It is possible that they will be added to the discount list at some future point when supply is less constrained.