Apple Retail Ends Genius Training in Cupertino, Moves to In-Store Web Seminars

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Mar 9, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    For years, Apple has sent new Genius hires to its Infinite Loop headquarters in Cupertino, or sometimes an auxiliary campus in Austin or Cork, to receive hands-on training for up to three weeks. Recently, however, Apple appears to have stopped offering these group-oriented trips, according to people familiar with the matter.


    Apple's off-site Genius Training program has been replaced by an in-store, self-guided experience using company-provided reference materials, according to a source. The training now involves watching web-based seminars through the Apple Technical Learning Administration System, or ATLAS, another source said.

    In Cupertino, Apple had a small training facility with a mock Genius Bar and Macs set aside specifically for trainees to take apart and perform test repairs on. But with the switch to web-based seminars, Apple is allegedly providing "virtual take aparts" only now, with no physical hardware.

    "This means that many customers who check their computers in for repair may have their device serviced by someone who has never physically worked on their model of computer before," said a person familiar with the matter.

    A handful of Geniuses have shared photos of their training experience on social networks over the years, with one person calling it a "life-changing experience" and others echoing similar positivity. One source described it to us as a "rite of passage" and "a milestone in the career" of an Apple retail employee.
    Apple Store managers have been quietly informing new Genius hires of the changes in recent weeks. It is unclear if the off-site training is permanently discontinued, or if it could return to Infinite Loop or Apple's new campus in the future. Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    Last year, we revealed a new Apple retail position called Technical Expert, which falls between Technical Specialist and Genius. These employees are able to provide mobile repairs, a task previously limited to Geniuses, and troubleshooting for software and products like the Apple Watch and Apple TV.

    Article Link: Apple Retail Ends Genius Training in Cupertino, Moves to In-Store Web Seminars
  2. FactVsOpinion macrumors 6502

    Jul 27, 2012
    So, brand new campus and now only online educated tech repairs?
  3. orev macrumors 6502

    Apr 22, 2015
    This seems like a bad idea. The whole experience and camaraderie that comes with going through something like this really makes a difference to people. It also promotes a high degree of loyalty to a company by the employees. Now they just sit in a room by themselves? I think the quality of support is going to drop dramatically.
  4. magbarn macrumors 68000

    Oct 25, 2008
    Lol, one of the richest companies in the world cheapening and dumbing down their employees just like Circuit City/Good Guys/Best Buy...
  5. jayducharme macrumors 68040


    Jun 22, 2006
    The thick of it
    Why not just have the "Geniuses" browse through iFixIt?
  6. Brookzy macrumors 601


    May 30, 2010
  7. photosbynick macrumors member

    Aug 4, 2011
    There must be a huge turnover rate of them now. When I worked there from 2005-2010, they sent the Creatives and Genius crew to Cali for a month to do hands on training and then in store work. It was the best experience ever. When we got back, we brought back that corporate vide and culture to the store on the retail level. The entire store benefited from a few of us going out there. It brought the store morale up. It was like an award to go to corporate and train. Now that they will do it in the store level, this will not bring the same benefits that it once did. Loyalty will go down and those employees will be more likely to leave Apple sooner than in the past. I would have still been there as a Creative if I wasn't recruited to go elsewhere.
  8. newyorksole macrumors 68030

    Apr 2, 2008
    New York.
  9. happyslayer macrumors 6502a


    Feb 3, 2008
    Glendale, AZ
    This seems to be a continuing trend. My last two visits to the Genius Bar have been, in my opinion, less than good. Not a lot of help at the time (and it now takes 3-5 days to even get an appointment!) and they just took the laptops and sent them away for repairs, meaning I or my customer was without a laptop for 5 days. This new "training" philosophy seems to only accentuate that; the techs at the stores will no longer be able to do any actual repairs onsite, just send them away to hardware-trained techs elsewhere. I think the Geniuses are now just software/Apple ID issue support people now. Not actual hardware support.
  10. HiVolt macrumors 6502


    Sep 29, 2008
    Toronto, Canada
    Oh, yeah, very smart...

    Techs with NO hands on training...
  11. SusanK macrumors 68000

    Oct 9, 2012
  12. taptic macrumors 65816


    Dec 5, 2012
    feel free to make a thread for it:
  13. NT1440 macrumors G4


    May 18, 2008
    Hartford, CT
    ....There will be units in store for them to train on :rolleyes:

    But I agree completely, this is a ******** move that continues the retail store support slide I've been witnessing over the last few years.
  14. eww7633 macrumors regular

    Dec 15, 2008
    Not even Apple ID. Most tasks require you to call in.
  15. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    Honestly seems about right. The types of repairs the stores do now is limited due to how the products are now made. Plus there are quite a few more stores now than even 5 years ago. Seems like a needless expense (and not too environmentally positive) to send people cross country to learn out to do a repair. It's really unnecessary.

    Honestly, I'm no engineer and I've learned how to repair and replace lots of tech and also other things from YouTube videos. Back in the day when Powerbooks were repairable I used iFixit guides. It's not brain surgery folks.
  16. weup togo macrumors regular

    May 6, 2016
  17. ssgbryan macrumors 6502a


    Jul 18, 2002
    This is going to end badly.

    I used to develop on line training - it is hard to do and expensive, if done right.

    I don't see Timmy doing it right.
  18. pika2000 macrumors 68040

    Jun 22, 2007
    I hope this is a temporary thing while they have the new campus up and running. Or maybe it's an additional resources for geniuses to brush up on their knowledge. I mean I know the cost of training your support team, but cutting cost and changing hands-on training to webinars is just poor decision.
  19. MacUser4_20 macrumors regular

    Oct 8, 2004
    This was exactly my experience when I was at the retail level at Apple, Inc. It instilled the rich culture, tradition, and really allowed me to bond with peers. I am only hoping that they will move this to Apple Park, which would be amazing, as that is where my office is moving to!
  20. Cineplex, Mar 9, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2017

    Cineplex macrumors 6502a


    Jan 1, 2016

    I can tell you what this really means. No more in store hardware repairs. Apple is creeping to a "swap it out" system. I bet the next generation of Macs released will not be repairable and will have to go back to be refurbished at the depot or wherever they send them now. We used to send them to Texas, not sure that facility is still there. They probably go to China now. There are going to be big changes at the bar.
  21. jarred125 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 8, 2011
    Glad I've been diversifying and only own iOS devices now. Less training is a bad thing and while web based training is nice, in person is always better.
  22. MacDevil7334 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 15, 2011
    Austin TX
    Without knowing specifics (the new training may be better for all I know), this sounds like the type of short sighted decision a company makes when the bottom line is the main focus rather than products and customer experience. It may have short-term benefits, but in the long run it hurts the company since both employee morale and customer experience degrade. Not too surprising given some of the other decisions Cook has made over the past few years but unfortunate nonetheless.
  23. jdillings macrumors 68000

    Jun 21, 2015
    Cook has to pay for the new campus some how
  24. NT1440 macrumors G4


    May 18, 2008
    Hartford, CT
    I've used GSX before as I'm apple certified (ACMT). I did it through their online portal (which is a navigational nightmare).

    Their videos are top notch. Their training courses on individual products are great. But navigating the website to these courses was a complete cluster.
  25. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    This could also be part of a "green" initiative. Fewer flights to Cupertino = lower carbon emissions. Also, most repairs are sent out these days for replacement (it's easier to process in bulk).

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