Apple Stores Change Staffing System in Rare Public Misstep

Apple Logo Black - H 2012

Apple Logo Black - H 2012

Meanwhile, more details emerge on Apple's plan for a cable set-top-box, whose navigation features could resemble that of the iPad.

The head of Apple's retail stores has admitted mistakes with a new staffing system, which left some Apple stores understaffed and led to reports of firings. The tech giant has decided to revert to its old formula as a result of the rare public misstep.

The Wall Street Journal reported that senior vp of retail John Browett, who took over the Apple stores in April, told employees that the firm would reverse course as the new formula caused hourly shifts to be cut for some staff and therefore left some stores short-handed.
He asked leadership groups to tell employees that "we messed up" and that Apple was hiring additional staff, the Journal said, quoting people familiar with the situation.

"Making these changes was a mistake, and the changes are being reversed," a spokeswoman said. "Our employees are our most important asset and the ones who provide the world-class service our customers deserve."

Meanwhile, new details have emerged on Apple's vision for a device that could be used as a cable set-top box - a day after news emerged that the company has held talks about the idea with cable operators.

Its user interface could resemble the navigation of Apple's iPad to simplify content searches, and the box could move towards erasing distinctions between live and on-demand content, according to the Journal.

The Apple device could allow viewers  to start any show at any time through an online DVR of sorts, it said. That would let people even start a show that is in progress, similar to Time Warner Cable's "Start Over" feature.

The Apple device may also add social media features to the TV screen and make content accessible on other Apple products, such as iPhones and iPads, the Journal said.

An Apple spokesman declined to comment.


Twitter: @georgszalai