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Apple Specialist is an independent Apple Inc. reseller which offers its line of hardware and software, service, and support for branded products, and has been designated as Specialist by the manufacturer. Apple Premiere Specialists constitute 100 businesses among the Specialist designated group.
An Apple Reseller befriended Dr. Gil Amelio, then CEO of Apple, and recommended that they form a 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.
Specialist resellers must pass an annual screening to be 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.
In 2004, members of Apple's Reseller Advisory Board formed the Apple Specialist Marketing Coop (ASMC). Since that time ASMC has grown to include more than 160 members.
- Apple Specialist section from Apple's website
- Apple Specialist website, developed independently by ASMC
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