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Apple Specialist is an independent Apple Inc. reseller which over time has demonstrated exceptional, consistent, and comprehensive knowledge of Apple technology, offers its entire line of hardware and software, offers complete service and support for branded products, and has been designated as Specialist by the manufacturer. Apple Premiere Specialists constitute an elite 100 businesses among the Specialist designated group.
Each specialist displays a plaque with a special golden Apple logo which reads, "Apple Specialist - Recognized by Apple, Inc. as an Apple authorized reseller with demonstrated expertise in providing consultation and service for Apple computers."
An Apple Reseller befriended Dr. Gil Amelio, then CEO of Apple, and recommended that they form a premier reseller channel designation. Dr. Amelio assigned Paddy Wong and Loretta Flores of Apple the task of designing the program, with input from a few resellers. The original scope was fairly small, but only included resellers who mainly sold Apple products and not competitors.
Apple rolled out the Apple Specialist Program in December 1996. The program is still in place as of 2013.
Before the introduction of Apple retail stores, the Specialist resellers, typically locally owned small businesses, were primary contributors to retail sales channel and user support for the computer manufacturer among other Apple-authorized resellers and Value-added resellers.
As small businesses who had made a significant commitment to Apple and continued to have their own stake in the manufacturer's success, such companies helped end-users and small businesses understand and apply Apple's innovative technologies and solutions, assisted and fed Mac evangelism, and held Apple to a high standard of design, construction, and business practice during the lean days before Steve Jobs' return to Apple in 1997.
Specialist resellers must pass an annual comprehensive screening to be recognized and approved by Apple to retain Apple Specialist designation. One of the strict requisites is to have an exclusive compromise with Apple and don't sell competitive brands. Other ones moves the concept of small businesses, requiring them to have certain number of sq.fts of ShowRoom, and to be placed in notorious avenues, with street windows.
In 2004, members of Apple's Reseller Advisory Board formed the Apple Specialist Marketing Coop (ASMC). Since that time ASMC has grown to include over 160 members.
- Apple Specialist section from Apple's website
- Apple Specialist website, developed independently by ASMC
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