Apple Changes One to One Subscription Program

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In an article in USA Today, Ron Johnson, Apple’s senior vice president of retail, describes upcoming changes to the hugely popular One to One training and support program.

Originally part of ProCare, One to One was launched in May 2007. $99 bought a 1-year membership, granting one 60-minute training or support session per week, up to a maximum of 52 sessions per year. The content of the sessions could be based on an established theme created by Apple, (eg. “Simple to Switch,” “Moviemaking” or “On the Go,” amongst many others) but could just as easily be based around a specific issue or subject of a customer’s choosing.

Since its launch, One to One has proven hugely successful, with a current subscriber base of half a million customers.

The changes Johnson describes are subtle but important, so I asked Apple for further clarification. Here’s the new deal. Whereas previously anyone could buy a One to One subscription without an accompanying purchase, beginning June 2, Apple will limit new subscriptions to customers buying a Macintosh at an Apple retail store or on the Apple Store web site.

There is no “grace period” for the undecided, either. Customers who want to buy a One to One subscription must do so on the day they buy their new Mac. Existing One to One customers will be able to renew their subscriptions for one further year.

Apple’s focus with One to One is shifting away from convincing customers to switch, to supporting customers who have already made the move from PC to Mac. “We originally set up One to One to get people to switch to the Mac,” Johnson said. “Now we want to expand it to make it even more relevant to people who have bought their Mac.”

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