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Wednesday, May 02, 2007, 08:00 am PT (11:00 am ET)

Apple unveils ProCare changes; Project LaunchBox; iPhone parts

Apple has officially announced the changes to its ProCare retail services first detailed by AppleInsider earlier in the week. Meanwhile, the company is set to kick-off a new student venture later this week. And delivery estimates for iPhone components appear to have slipped.

ProCare: less for the same as before

It's now official. As expected, Apple on Wednesday announced changes to its in-store ProCare services designed to offer customers half the amount of amenities as before for the same price. ProCare has been split into two separate $99 packages, one designed purely for service (ProCare) and the other (One to One) for Mac training.

Also as expected, the company's free in-store consultation service, once dubbed Talk Mac, has been renamed Personal Shopping. A brief description of the three services follows, with a link to their respective websites at Apple.com.

ProCare

ProCare membership starts with a complete setup of your Mac. Then stay up and running with premium benefits like same-day service at the Genius Bar, Rapid Repairs, yearly tune-ups, and more. All for just $99 per year, for up to three computers.

One to One

Our trainers — experts in all things Apple — create a program customized to your level of experience. You can choose individual sessions covering everything from getting started on a Mac to making more out of your memories. Or explore any topic you like. All for just $99 per year.

Personal training sessions are designed to move at your pace and provide the support and guidance you need, whether you’re new to Mac or ready to master the latest pro software.

Personal Shopping
Personal Shopping is a whole new way to shop at the Apple Store. A free service where you and a dedicated Mac Specialist explore and test-drive products to find out which ones are best for you. We know the store can be busy, so when you’re ready to talk, Personal Shopping is a way for us to give you our undivided attention.

Project LaunchBox

Apple in conjunction with Full Sail media college is set to announce "Project LaunchBox" this Friday, reports MacNN.The new project is designed to put Apple hardware and professional software directly into the hands of more than 4,000 students across six different disciplines of study.

As part of the initiative, students will receive a MacBook Pro laptop loaded with software specifically geared toward their degree, and will receive instruction that combines 50 percent lecture and 50 percent hands-on activities that enable students to learn as well as practice immediately as they are trained for the industry.

Apple's vice president of worldwide Education will kick off the event with 100 Full Sail students in a starting class, celebrating with political officials as well as business leaders.

iPhone components still not aligned?

Although an earlier report out of the Far East had suggested that Apple was requiring its many iPhone component manufacturers to begin delivery of materials to its Taiwanese manufacturing facilities in early April, a new report implies one supplier is not expected to deliver its parts till sometime this month.

Citing sources at the supplier, Chinese-language Economic Daily News is reporting that Foxlink — a known manufacturer of interconnects — will not begin shipments of iPhone components until later this month.

Apple has maintained that it will begin shipping iPhone in late June.