Apple Finally Targets Small Businesses

Posted on November 10, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Apple, Cloud, iOS, iPadOS, Mac and macOS, Microsoft 365, Mobile with 14 Comments

Today, Apple announced a new offering called Business Essentials, a subscription for small businesses with up to 500 employees.

“Small businesses are at the core of our economy, and we’re proud that Apple products play a role in helping these companies grow,” Apple vice president Susan Prescott said. “Apple Business Essentials is designed to help streamline every step of employee device management within a small business — from setup, onboarding, and upgrading, to accessing fast service and prioritized support, all while keeping data backed up and secure, so companies can focus on running their business.”

Business Essentials is described as a complete solution for small businesses. It provides device management, 24/7 Apple Support, and dedicated iCloud storage, as well as employee onboarding, security policies, and more.

There are three plans available, and each can be customized to support each user with up to three devices and up to 2 TB of secure storage in iCloud. Apple Business Essentials starts at $2.99 per employee per month.

You can learn more from the Apple Business Essentials website.

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Comments (14)

14 responses to “Apple Finally Targets Small Businesses”

  1. waethorn

    So is this designed to be the macOS Server killer then?


    Apple really gimped that software by stripping out the easy UI for *nix network infrastructure service setup and relegating it to only be a directory and device management system.

  2. j5

    Apple Fan Voice 🤓 I will open a small business just to subscribe to this! Haha!

  3. Donte

    After watching that video I can't really seeing anyone using this...and I am a Mac/Apple fan. No mention of email at all. So you paying for device management, and iCloud storage?


    I guess in a small shop that was ALL in on Apple and I mean, all Mac, iPhone, iPad, using Pages, Numbers and Keynote, and email through Google or Microsoft? Sure it might work for them.

    • wright_is

      This is the equivalent of AppTec, MobileIron, Microsoft InTune etc. with additional services added on, such as cloud storage and concierge service to faulty/damaged hardware.


      Even if you are just running a fleet of iPhones, these services make a lot of sense. You have central remote wipe for all device, if they get stolen, for example and tracking. On top of that, you can push VPN and corporate Wi-Fi settings, so none of the employees need to know the passwords or the configuration parameters, it "just works" and they aren't tempted to attach their personal devices to the company network.


      The same with apps, you define what apps they can use and they can only download the authorized apps (or the apps are pushed to them). Central payment, no worries about corporate credit cards or reimbursing users.


      There is a lot to like about the service, and if you are using Macs and iPads as well, there is even more to like about the service.


      We looked at MobileIron and we also have InTune as part of M365, but we ended up with AppTec as we also have Android devices. (InTune is (was at the time we looked at it) really dire. If you enrolled an Android device, it installed the policies and the InTune App, so it looked great, to start with. But the first thing I tried was to remove the InTune App from the device and, hey Presto! the device was no longer enrolled in InTune!

  4. j5

    On a serious note. I guess you can chalk this up to Apple offering more services because their hardware sales have peaked.

  5. jdjan

    All in on Apple too but the value prop isn't there without email and a viable MS Office alternative. iWork is actually great, but the whole whole runs on MS Office and there's no way to catch up with that.

    • wright_is

      This is an MDM solution, not an equivalent to Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace.


      None of the equivalent products, like AppTec, MobileIron etc. offer email or Office alternatives either, that is not their raison d'etre.

  6. stevek

    How long before JAMF isn't allowed to run on MacOS now?

  7. nbplopes

    The price is on on par with MDM solutions out there. With the disadvantages of not being cross platform.

    • wright_is

      Thank you, finally someone who actually understands this.


      Yes, if you are an Apple house, this is an excellent alternative. If you are multi-platform, then MobileIron, AppTec etc. will still be a better solution.

      • SyncMe

        Do those other solutions also offer the 24/7 tech support or the on-site service? Just curious.

        • wright_is

          On site, obviously not. They are MDM solutions, not smartphone manufacturers.


          As I said, the extras make it very attractive for 100% Apple companies, you don’t need to have the carrier/manufacturer hardware support and the MDM solution, as you do with all MDM solutions to date, that I know of.


          None of the smartphone manufacturers provide an MDM solution and none of the MDM solutions have their own phones.


          This puts Apple in a unique position, if the service delivers on its promises.


          All the MDM solutions are global, so support should be available at any time. That is where Apple currently fails, it is USA only, during the current phase.


          This also closes a gap that has been missing from Apple’s offerings for the last 40 years or so: on-site support for their Macs. All our PCs and laptops have next day on site support, the Macs don’t even have it as an option. For key equipment, we can get 4 hour onsite support. With Macs, it is all post it back to Apple/a repair centre and wait a couple of weeks for it to come back.


          That is a huge drawback in this segment, especially for a company that places itself in the premium segment, yet offers sub-par service.

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