Apple Business Essentials Bundles Device Management, Storage And Repairs Into A Subscription

Apple Business Essentials
Apple is launching a subscription services for small and mid-sized business with up to 500 employees. Appropriately called Apple Business Essentials, the general idea is to make IT chores easier and more streamlined as business grow, by bundling device management tasks into a single subscription that covers the essentials.

Many of the things an IT department would spend time on are included with the subscription, including device setup, onboarding, backing up to the cloud (iCloud, specifically), security, support, device updates, and even repairs.

Apple's billing this as a complete solution through the device management life cycle. It's also flexible for today's growing trend towards remote work forces. For example, using Collections, an IT admin can configure settings and apps for each user, group, or device. Then when an employee signs into their corporate or personal MacBook or iPad (or whatever), Collections will push a set of pre-configured settings for things like VPN setup, Wi-Fi, and so forth.

There are three main subscription options with varying levels of iCloud storage. They include...
  • $2.99 per month: Cost is per-device and includes 50GB of storage
  • $6.99 per month per user: up to three devices for each user, 200GB of storage
  • $12.99 per month per user: up to three devices for each user, 2TB of storage
Covered devices including iPhone handsets, iPad tablets, and Mac systems. Apple also intends to add plans with AppleCare+ next spring. This would provide SMBs with a wider set of tools, including 24/7 phone support, IT training, and same-day, on-site repairs. Each plan with AppleCare+ will cover up to two repairs annually, which are not tied to any single device.

Apple is offering its new Apple Business Essentials subscription service as a free beta starting today in the US, then will launch it fully (and announce AppleCare+ price) in Spring 2022.