Apple Offers Tech Support Option for Small Businesses

Paul Mah
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15 Hot Business Apps for Your Mac

Apple has launched a new Joint Venture priority service plan to better serve small businesses. For the price of $499, Apple will offer specialized support for up to five clients for a year, which includes six hours of personal training, help with enterprise setup, configuration and even access to loaner units should machines need to be sent in for repair. Businesses covered under Joint Venture can bring any of the above products to Apple Stores for diagnostic assessments, or for proactive maintenance such as system updates and cleaning. Additional systems can also be added at $99 per year.


As a final enticement, businesses that sign up for Joint Venture will get priority service at Genius Bars, and the availability of phone support will certainly benefit small business owners. Interestingly, each "system" here does not refer to a single client device, but entails multiple types of Apple hardware subject to the limits outlined below.


According to a report by PC Magazine:

Each eligible system can include a Mac, two Cinema Displays, one iPhone, one iPod, one iPad, and Apple peripherals (such as a mouse, keyboard, trackpad, and a storage device).

Of course, detractors will note that customers who are not near an Apple store will be left pretty much disadvantaged where services such as configuration support and maintenance are concerned. In addition, loaner units are a moot point for businesses that purchase business-grade desktops, which typically come with one business-day on-site repair service at no additional cost. Certainly, the $499 savings can be used for enrolling in a fair number of computer classes for PC users, with ample money left over to pay someone to perform miscellaneous tasks such as transferring data between PCs.


Understandably, existing service providers for Apple hardware aren't thrilled about Joint Venture, which is perceived as a scheme designed to eventually drive them out of business. One member of the Apple Consultants Network, Dave Greenbaum, in a post on GigaOM, explained how exclusivity would be a bad thing for Apple consumers:

And of course, as an exclusive provider, price and wait times for repair will be whatever Apple decides.

Still, businesses that have already decided to make a transition from PC to Mac are far more likely to find Joint Venture useful. I suppose only time will tell if Joint Venture will see more businesses make the switch to a Mac platform.


And yes, Joint Venture has a cap of 100 systems per account, and was launched last week in the United States and United Kingdom. You can also check out the Apple Joint Venture site here.

Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Mar 8, 2011 4:20 AM Dave greenbaum Dave greenbaum  says:

In order to quote someone, it's proper etiquette to reference the source.  In this case, it was something I wrote about in GigaOM.  Those writings belong to them and should properly be attributed.  Please attribute the quote to it's source or remove it

Mar 8, 2011 5:28 AM Kachina Shaw Kachina Shaw  says:


Thank you for your comment. Please excuse the oversight in this instance. The information has been amended. We take proper attribution extremely seriously on IT Business Edge.


Kachina Shaw

Editor in Chief

Mar 8, 2011 10:10 AM Paul Mah Paul Mah  says: in response to Dave greenbaum

Hi Dave, I enjoyed your article on GigaOm and have respect for your frank opinions of how Joint Venture could negatively impact the existing support ecosystem. I took pains to ensure that the quote was attributed properly to you by name, and it was an oversight that I omitted to link to the original GigaOm article. My apologies on that.


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