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Apple considering iPhone sales through universities

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Apple is mulling a plan that would see the company extend sales of its upcoming iPhone 3G through top universities, and is separately considering a new protection service plan for college students, AppleInsider has learned.

People familiar with the matter say the Cupertino-based company is "intensively" looking into the possibility of allowing on-campus stores and other educational resellers to market the new touch-screen handset to student populations.

The move would initially be carried out at a number of universities where the company maintains large and active accounts, those people say, though a definitive decision is unlikely until after next month when management can fully assess the more critical retail roll-out and new in-store activation process.

Since introducing iPhone last year, Apple has made little effort to expand the distribution footprint for US sales of the handset. The one exception came last year -- about a month after the device first went on sale -- when there were communications between the company and channel partners about extending sales to regional retail partner Best Buy.

That plan, however, was apparently thrown on the back-burner as Apple quickly discovered the extent to which grey marketers were buying up, unlocking and then reselling the phones, and hence decided to keep distribution limited to AT&T and its own shops.

The iPhone has already become a fixture on a handful of top-tier campuses like Harvard, MIT and Stanford, thanks to a new educational learning initiative pilot initiated last year dubbed 'iPhone University.' Through an extension of its existing iTunes University service, the program sees underclassmen equipped with iPhones with which they can wirelessly download class materials, receive homework alerts, answer in-class surveys and quizzes, get directions to their professors offices, and check their meal and account balances.

Increasing the presence of iPhones at universities across the country is just one step towards Apple's much larger goal of helping to reestablish itself as a leader in higher education, where recent progress has seen it overtake rival Dell as the No. 1 supplier of notebook systems and record a new all-time best for quarterly sales throughout the sector.

Apple, which is currently running its most rewarding back-to-school program in company history, has also recently been successful in drawing some added incremental revenue through increased sales of protection services to college students. People familiar with the matter tell AppleInsider the company is particularly proud of a sharp rise in its retail AppleCare attach rates -- or the pairing of AppleCare protection plans with new computer sales -- to student Mac purchasers, which in some regions have approached 95 percent.

As such, the Mac maker is now also said to be seriously considering a new accidental damage protection plan that would cover repairs should students accidently spill beer on their MacBook's keyboard, throw their MacBook Air under a bus, or whatever.

Whether such a service would be sold separate to AppleCare or branded as premium option under the long-rumored AppleCare Plus moniker is unclear. It would, like existing AppleCare plans, only span three years, people familiar with the discussions say. That's because Apple's internal goal is for students and customers in general to upgrade their Macs every 3 years, and their iPhones and iPods ever 2 years.
post #2 of 24
Apple is doing the credit card business model --- preying on college students with no budgeting skills.
post #3 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by samab View Post

Apple is doing the credit card business model --- preying on college students with no budgeting skills.

Is that right? Do tell.

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post #4 of 24
Hey! I am a college student and I have fine budgeting skills
post #5 of 24
It would be a mistake to not include iPhones in college bookstores.
post #6 of 24
I actually spilled a beer on my powerbook when i was in college.

It was very sad and cost me close to a grand to get fixed.

i tried to send it in to apple all like "it just stopped working" but they opened it up and said "no sir, you spilled beer all over the computer".

damn, foiled again.

this will be a boon to college students everywhere.
post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by madeincupertino View Post

I actually spilled a beer on my powerbook when i was in college.

It was very sad and cost me close to a grand to get fixed.

i tried to send it in to apple all like "it just stopped working" but they opened it up and said "no sir, you spilled beer all over the computer".

damn, foiled again.

this will be a boon to college students everywhere.

Is that you, Steve Ballmer?

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post #8 of 24
EXCELLENT! Apple should be doing this.
post #9 of 24
This sounds interesting, does anyone know whether these programs have an associated prorated data plan with them? Or any other special deal -- I work at a major university, and would be willing to wait a month before buying if it was going to save me bundles of cash (call me crazy).
post #10 of 24
I think it would now be to Apple's benefit to allow ATT affiliated stores to sell them, if they haven't already done so. Maybe it didn't make sense before, but now that you have to sign up for a contract at the store anyway, they might as well loosen the distribution restrictions a bit now.
post #11 of 24
I think it's worth pointing out that they would not have to bother with this or have any problems at all if they just sold the damn things online.

I know the argument is that this aides and abets the unlockers, but with the new world-wide market and availability and the apps store I have a hard time believing that unlockers are really a problem anymore. it's not like Apple will lose any revenue that way now that they don't share with AT&T.

Since they are literally shovelling this cheap plastic version out the door in almost every country in the world I really don't see the harm in letting the few of us that want one without a contract simply buy one from the online Apple store.

I hope they change their mind on that, but this initiative (if nothing else) indicates even more strongly that they are still not going to sell it online. Why Apple, why? Why abandon your customers to the predatory cell carriers this way?
In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
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In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
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post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I think it would now be to Apple's benefit to allow ATT affiliated stores to sell them, if they haven't already done so. Maybe it didn't make sense before, but now that you have to sign up for a contract at the store anyway, they might as well loosen the distribution restrictions a bit now.

No because iPhones will disappear out of these Mom and Pop shops and end up on the grey market.
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

No because iPhones will disappear out of these Mom and Pop shops and end up on the grey market.

I don't think you've fully thought that one through.

For one, how is that going to be any different than before? All or most of those gray market iPhones were initially bought from AT&T company stores and Apple stores. Did that even slow down the flood?

A service contract signed up at an AT&T store is just as enforceable as one signed at Best Buy or the corner cell phone store. It looks like for the most part, you can't buy the thing without a contract. In the countries that require an unlocked variant, then those will be sold at a higher price anyway.
post #14 of 24
On another note, I think a 3-year AppleCare Warranty should become standard for All Macs.
I think it would help to further differentiate Apple from the Wintel masses.
It would mean increasing prices slightly but that would be offset by the increased sales and volume.
I think it would also help to create the perception in the mind of the average customer that after 3 years they should upgrade.
post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I don't think you've fully thought that one through.

For one, how is that going to be any different than before? All those gray market iPhones came directly through AT&T and Apple stores.

A service contract signed up at an AT&T store is just as enforceable as one signed at Best Buy or the corner cell phone store.

The problem is not enforcing a contract.
Thieves don't sign contracts.
Most of these mom and pop cell phone shops have 2 or 3 employees and there is little oversight and security.
post #16 of 24
As a student in the Netherlands I've noticed that the presence of MacBooks is steadily increasing. I'd say about 40% of all laptops here is a MB/MBP.
post #17 of 24
I want a free iPhone with my "Happy Meal". Apple could just hand them out and make money on the extra apps and downloads
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post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

The problem is not enforcing a contract.
Thieves don't sign contracts.
Most of these mom and pop cell phone shops have 2 or 3 employees and there is little oversight and security.

Employees are always an issue, but when the owner has to pay the difference for any items not sold or returned they tend to be more careful. With a $200 fee for not activating your iPhone within 30 days I don't think that will be an issue. Sure, there will be clever and determined thieves, but they will be in Apple and AT&T stores, too. You just can't build a large grey market arena with this new system.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

On another note, I think a 3-year AppleCare Warranty should become standard for All Macs.
I think it would help to further differentiate Apple from the Wintel masses.
It would mean increasing prices slightly but that would be offset by the increased sales and volume.
I think it would also help to create the perception in the mind of the average customer that after 3 years they should upgrade.

From a business perspective, that might be a pretty hard decision for Apple. I don't think it would be a slight increase in price. Applecare is $119 for the iMac, $183 for MacBook and $239 for the MacBook Pro, that's after the student discounts applied. Apple would probably be losing money, they couldn't afford to increase the prices by that much. People, including students, already complain about the price of Macs. The only device that it probably would be practical to include would be the iPod shuffle. It's $49 and the Applecare is $39, go figure.

I see where you are coming from though, it would help create an idea that people should upgrade every three years.
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by samab View Post

Apple is doing the credit card business model --- preying on college students with no budgeting skills.

Yeah. Those Harvard, MIT, and Stanford kids are known retards.
post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

Yeah. Those Harvard, MIT, and Stanford kids are known retards.

I don't think anyone is immune to doing stupid things, and everyone has a weakness too.
post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

Yeah. Those Harvard, MIT, and Stanford kids are known retards.

You means those card counting kids who have a gambling problem.
post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by samab View Post

You means those card counting kids who have a gambling problem.

My dad went to MIT in the early 50's, well before any of the card counting groups formed. He knew a guy there that paid his way through MIT by playing poker in high stakes games throughout the northeast US.
post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by city View Post

I want a free iPhone with my "Happy Meal". Apple could just hand them out and make money on the extra apps and downloads


Now THAT's an idea
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"Run faster. History is a constant race between invention and catastrophe. Education helps but it is never enough. You must also run." Leto Atreides II
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