Apple to Roll Out New Tech Support for Small Biz. Starting Price: $500

Last Updated Mar 2, 2011 5:03 PM EST

Yes, it's iPad 2 Day.

But the main event will completely overshadow an expected announcement that will likely cause many Apple-obsessed entrepreneurs to salivate: Steve Jobs wants to offer you tech support!

Actually, it would be those Geniuses at the retail stores doing the tinkering with your Mac books, iPhones, and iPads. According to Apple Insider, the service called Joint Venture will reportedly include support for up to five systems (Apple defines a system as one that could involve all 3 devices above), priority service at Genius Bars, a priority tech support phone line, and a limited number of training sessions for a limited number of employees held at Apple stores.

The reported cost: $499 a year. And every additional system will apparently run you another $99 a year.

Assuming your small business can fork over the annual fees for Joint Venture, Dave Greenbaum over at GigaOm raises a good point: If you're not near an Apple store, which would be your main source for service, you're out of luck. "And of course, as an exclusive provider, price and wait times for repair will be whatever Apple decides," Greenbaum adds.

It's worth noting that the introduction of this service probably wouldn't be good news for folks like Greenbaum. He's a small business owner himself -- he provides tech support for Macs through his own consulting firm as an Apple Certified Support Professional. Essentially he's a middle man, and we all know how much Apple likes to cut out the middle men.

So what I want to know from small business owners is, would you become an Apple-only operation at these prices?

Flickr photo courtesy of mastermaq, CC 2.0
  • Lindsay Blakely

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