Apple launched its Joint Venture small business program in 2011. However, the company has determined that 2021 is the time to call it quits, and plans on shutting down the effort in just over a month.
According to a report from 9to5Mac, based on information shared by a reader, Apple is emailing customers letting them know the program is shutting down. Specifically, according to the email, the Joint Venture small business program will end on February 22, 2021, at 11:59 PM PST. Apple says customers will still have full access to Joint Venture up until that time.
In its place will apparently be AppleCare Help Desk Support. This effort already includes some of the best features that Joint Ventures offers, according to Apple. That includes “priority phone access to our experienced senior technical support staff”. Apple says Joint Venture customers should contact their Apple Business Team to get started on what’s next.
Per the email:
The Joint Venture Program will be ending on 22/2/21 11:59 pm PST. You’ll continue to have full access to Joint Venture until the program wraps up, and you’ll be receiving a refund for any remaining portion of your membership.
We’ve also recently added a great business support option, AppleCare Help Desk Support, which features some of the most requested features of Joint Venture, such as priority phone access to our experienced senior technical support staff, 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. To learn more about AppleCare Help Desk Support, call your Apple Business Team to get started.
Joint Venture, launched in 2011, wasn’t necessarily cheap. It started at $499 for signing up, and then $99 per year after that to stay enrolled. The service was designed for both small- and medium-sized businesses, to be an IT solution for those companies who might not have another option. Apple has informed customers that refunds will be issued where eligible.
It’s worth noting that the original report does note that this is targeting Australian customers. However, it’s likely that this will be a worldwide initiative for the company.