The changes were described in a recent post on the ifoAppleStore blog, which covers Apple's retail operation. The changes surround the way that data will be transferred from a customer's older Mac or PC to new Mac, when customers can request the migration and what systems will be covered for Mac-to-Mac data transfers.
The One to One service is offered to customers of new Macs for $99. The services comprise: Data Migration, Personal Training, Group Training, and Open Training programs. The terms and conditions for the service are online at Apple's Retail Store site.
Data Migration — One to One members are entitled to Data Migration services for one (1) Mac purchased from an Apple Retail Store, Apple Online Store, or 800-MY-APPLE, if requested within the first sixty (60) days of your membership, including any renewals. Data Migration includes the data transfer of files from your old computer (PC or Mac) to your Mac.
To be eligible for One to One Data Migration, your original computer must start up properly and be virus free. In addition, any PC must be running Windows XP Service Pack 3 or later, and have a working Ethernet port.
If you're migrating from a Mac, your system must be running Mac OS X 10.5 or later, and have a working Ethernet, Firewire, Thunderbolt, or USB port. If you put any data or information on your Mac prior to your Data Migration, it will be erased and the Mac will be restored to its factory condition prior to transferring the data from your old computer.
Upon your request, we will install any compatible Apple hardware that was purchased in conjunction with your Mac. We will also assist with installing software that was purchased in conjunction with your Mac in a Personal Training or Open Training session that you schedule with the Apple Retail Store.
Data Migration services include the transfer and integration of your email, contacts, calendars, music, photos, bookmarks, and documents from your personal user account, and not the accounts of others you might store on your old computer. Apple does not guarantee the transfer of all data from a personal computer to your Mac, as certain data — including, without limitation, certain email, contacts, and calendar applications — may not be supported.
One to One Data Migration is available only at Apple Retail Store locations, for Mac computers owned and registered in your name, and running the latest version of OS X.
InfoAppleStore points out that customers can only request the service within the first 60 days of ownership versus an entire year span with the former terms. And more importantly, the installation of hardware and software is now limited to Apple Store purchases.
The installation of compatible Apple hardware is now limited to whatever was purchased with the new Mac. The store staff will now "assist" with the installation of software that a customer purchases during a Personal Training or Open Training session. Previously, the staff would "install" software, and the location of purchase wasn't qualified.
Previously, Apple allowed data migration via Wi-Fi for both Mac and PCs, however, now only hardwire connections are supported. This may be a difficulty for some minimal PCs. I never understood why Apple would support Wi-Fi transfers since they are unreliable and slow — or so I have found in my own office.
The last line in the Apple data transfer terms appears to me to be a bit confusing. It reads that the One to One Data Migration is "for Mac computers owned and registered in your name, and running the latest version of OS X." Does this mean that the older Mac that someone brings into the Apple Store — to transfer its data over to a newly purchased machine — must be running the latest version of OS X? If so, that's a huge change for millions of Mac users.
According to the Desktop Operating System Market Share tally at NetMarketShare, more than half of Macs in its counting are running older versions of OS X. I should have said tens of millions of Mac users.
What may be the outcome of these changes? Many of the new Mac owners, especially those will older Macs, may seek out Mac consultants to help with their data transfers and software configuration. And Mac certified hardware shops will see extra work installing internal hardware, although, the design of many new Macs, such as the new iMac models, discourage after-purchase upgrades.
This could be just what Apple wanted. The cost of migrating data to older Macs must be costing Apple much more than the $99 that is covered by the One to One service fee. Much more.