"Joint Venture:" an On-Site Apple Geek Squad?
According to a report by Patently Apple
, the site which tracks Apple's patent and trademark applications, the company has requested a trademark for a service called "Joint Venture." The trademark covers a range of services - not surprising as the business may change over the years - from training and website design to on-site service and consulting. The trademark application, released on Monday, also indicated that Apple has filed for the use of "Joint Venture" in China as well.
If it pans out, this service could indicate Apple's first move into being a consulting company in addition to a hardware provider. They would be directly stepping into a space that has been traditionally occupied by Apple Authorized Service Providers and Apple Consultants, not to mention the loose network of journeyman technicians. None of the latter are prohibited from suggesting non-Apple solutions to customers, so it may be that Apple intends to more fully control the support channel.
The service, which Apple has so far refused comment on, would appear to be an extension of the Genius bar: in effect what TheAppleBlog refers to as a "Genius Squad."
In addition to the in-store services provided by Geniuses and the on-site services provided by Geeks, Joint Venturers would apparently also be available for personal instruction and group classes, workshops, conferences and seminars on a range of subjects including computer (presumably Mac) skills, website design, video products and consumer electronics. The trademark also covers "on-line publications in the nature of newsletters" on the same subjects.