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Apple bumps iPad biz customers from 9am to 11am

Apple is giving "the business" to its business customers who were given a chance to schedule an appointment to pick up iPads on Saturday.

Being an Apple business customer I received a pleasant phone call from my store's business staff the day after I placed my reservation for two iPads.

The conversation went something like this:

Apple: "I see that you've placed a pre-order for two iPads."

Jason: "Why yes, I have."

A: "Well, I just wanted to let you know that because you're a business customer, you can schedule a time to come in a pick up your iPads so that you don't have to wait in line."

J: "Great. What time can I come in?"

A: "We have appointments beginning at 9am"

J: "Perfect, sign me up for 9am then. Thank you."

Today I received a phone call from an apologetic and courteous business staffer to tell me that there had been a policy change and that business reservations were being moved back from 9am to 11am. I was told that Apple issued a communique "an hour ago" that business reservations were to start at 11am, not at 9am as originally planned.

When I asked about the reason for the change in plans I was told that the stores were "not allowed to offer that to business customers" and that they didn't want any problems with "perception about the lines." What my business rep couldn't say, most likely, was that Apple didn't want business customers walking past retail customers that were waiting in line to get their iPad, which could cause some friction. Geek fights, after all, can be very, very nasty.

My Apple retail store didn't have many business pickups scheduled from 9-11am on Saturday anyway (I got the impression that there were less than a dozen in that window, although they wouldn't confirm), but my contact was in the unenviable position of calling those that did to reschedule after 11am.

It's not a huge deal either way because I can always hop into the pre-order line at 9am and grab my iPad then, but Apple shouldn't have even offered the iPad business appointments in the first place, after all, they called me.

As with Apple's iPhone launches, retail stores will have two lines open on Saturday morning, one for people with an iPad reservation and one for people without. iPads will be sold on a first come, first serve basis with a limit of two units per customer.