For years, Apple has sent new Genius hires to its Infinite Loop headquarters in Cupertino, or sometimes an auxiliary campus in Austin or Cork, to receive hands-on training for up to three weeks. Recently, however, Apple appears to have stopped offering these group-oriented trips, according to people familiar with the matter.
Apple’s off-site Genius Training program has been replaced by an in-store, self-guided experience using company-provided reference materials, according to a source. The training now involves watching web-based seminars through the Apple Technical Learning Administration System, or ATLAS, another source said.
In Cupertino, Apple had a small training facility with a mock Genius Bar and Macs set aside specifically for trainees to take apart and perform test repairs on. But with the switch to web-based seminars, Apple is allegedly providing “virtual take aparts” only now, with no physical hardware.
“This means that many customers who check their computers in for repair may have their device serviced by someone who has never physically worked on their model of computer before,” said a person familiar with the matter.