Cook held a "secretive summit" in San Francisco where he discussed "sweeping changes" to how Apple's retail stores will sell iPhones with Apple retail store leaders, Gurman reports, citing sources familiar with the details of the meeting.
About 20% of all iPhones are bought at Apple stores, Cook reportedly said, but 50% of iPhone servicing/troubleshooting is done at Apple's Genius Bars. Cook wants sales to more in line with servicing/troubleshooting.
The problem for Apple is that carriers dominate the cellphone purchasing experience.
If you're a Verizon customer, the natural inclination is to go to Verizon because it still controls a large chunk of important data and services related to your phone.
To get more customers buying iPhones from Apple, Apple is planning a trade-in program.
There will be other incentive programs, as well. Apple is offering a $50 iTunes gift card to students buying iPhones for back to school. It's also going to do price-matching against places like Radio Shack and Walmart.
Cook wants retail people to sell the advantages of the iPhone over Android harder, too. He wants retail employees to talk about Apple's lack of fragmentation, and its unified experience, says Gurman.
Not to be too snarky, but if Cook wants to help his retail staff, he should also introduce a bigger iPhone. We were in an Apple store shortly after the iPhone 5 was released and heard a Genius Bar employee tell a customer that the iPhone 5 should have been bigger. This is clearly something some people want.
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