Apple ready to roll out new retail service?

A report says Apple will soon introduce new Genius Bar services for small businesses.

Apple's Genius Bar is reportedly getting expanded services.
Apple's Genius Bar is reportedly getting expanded services. Sarah Tew/CNET

That secret meeting for Apple retail employees we've been hearing about? The agenda might not be nearly as exciting as some would hope.

Apple store employees have reportedly been asked to sign non-disclosure agreements in advance of a meeting this Sunday night. Boy Genius Report says it's heard that the big secret employees will learn at that meeting is a new small-business-oriented IT support service called Joint Venture.

BGR says it's "an extension of Apple's current Genius Bar services" but that's aimed at small-business owners and "prosumers." The service will cost money, but it will reportedly enable subscribers to either go into the Genius Bar for hardware and software troubleshooting, or simply call up a Genius--the latter is not a service Apple offers to anyone currently.

Apple has made other moves recently showing it is targeting the small- and medium-size business crowd. It canceled its line of Xserve servers used by large corporate clients last month and in its place offered the Mac Pro Server. It's a setup large companies would be hard-pressed to use but that could be adequate for smaller businesses.

About the author

Erica Ogg is a CNET News reporter who covers Apple, HP, Dell, and other PC makers, as well as the consumer electronics industry. She's also one of the hosts of CNET News' Daily Podcast. In her non-work life, she's a history geek, a loyal Dodgers fan, and a mac-and-cheese connoisseur.

 

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