Part of ongoing consolidation between retail and online stores
As part of an ongoing revamp focused on greater integration between online and retail experiences, Apple has made some changes to its now-integrated retail areas of the its website, specifically to clean up and consolidate workshop scheduling and appointments. The new system is similar to the Genius Bar reservation system, and allows users to quickly locate workshops, One to One classes, and Joint Venture events.
Companies amend partnership agreement
Sony and Sharp have announced that they have amended their partnership agreement for the joint venture known as Sharp Display Productions Corporation (SDP). Although the companies had been considering further investment, primarily involving new funds provided by Sony, the plans appear to have been put on hold amid uncertainty surrounding Sharp's operations.
Sony reducing its exposure in TVs for smartphones?
Sony is said to be quitting its joint venture with Samsung for the development of LCDs. According to Reuters, a rethink of Sony’s loss-making television business prompted the decision in a move that is designed to help the company cut costs. The joint venture is a 50-50 arrangement, with Sony now looking to sell its stake in the development of S-LCD panels to Samsung.
Expose explains retail chain's inner workings
While Apple Stores have been extremely successful, they are very closely controlled, and may be encountering problems as the chain grows ever bigger, according to a Wall Street Journal expose. The paper's information comes from interviews with current and former Apple workers, as well as confidential training manuals and a recording of a store meeting. One reason relatively little is known about how Apple Stores operate is because the company imposes tight lips on retail clerks, banning them not only from discussing product rumors but also writing anything about the company online, or even admitting product defects to customers before corporate has acknowledged them, the Journal's sources say. Restrictions are also placed on language, such that employees may be forbidden from correcting product pronunciations and required to use terms like "as it turns out" instead of a more natural "unfortunately."
Incorporates setup, training, special support
Confirming preliminary reports, Apple has formally introduced Joint Venture, a special support program for small- to mid-sized businesses. The service requires buying a new Mac and paying at least $499 per year, but the latter covers up to four other "systems," which can include not just Macs but iPhones, iPods, iPads or even Cinema Displays. Up to 100 systems can be brought under Joint Venture if a business is willing to add the extra "uplift" fees to membership dues.
Should give small businesses Genius priority
Apple Store meetings held on Sunday were indeed related to Joint Venture, which should launch March 2nd in the US and March 3rd in the UK, attendees tell AppleInsider. The service plan will reportedly be offered when buying a new Mac, and cost $500 a year to cover up to five computers. Extra Macs can be covered at a price of $99 a year.