Apple and T-Mobile Offer Business Essentials to US SMBs

T‑Mobile has done something different as it fights for more business customers, with the first and only US wireless plan with Apple Business Essentials, a new iPhone 13 for new lines and more. The service is heavily geared towards smaller businesses, even as Apple is on its way to becoming a No. 1 enterprise play.

Key in the changes

The small business sector is booming in the US, with 5.4 million new business applications filed in 2021. The trend behind the Great Resignation is also that a growing number of Americans are seeing popular Apple ad and “Escape from the office‘ – even at Apple.

“T-Mobile and Apple stand together to help small businesses with an all-in-one plan that combines 5G connectivity, device management, 24/7 support, secure cloud storage and backup, and more,” said T-Mobile. Mobile in announce the deal.

T-Mobile also claimed (but made no reference to) studies showing that nearly 90% of businesses require employees to use an average of five mobile business apps per day. That requires sourcing, procurement, onboarding, upgrades and management of all those devices, which is made a lot easier with the Apple Business Manager console.

What Apple Said

“Apple is committed to helping small businesses thrive, and we’re proud of the long-standing relationships we’ve built with this community,” said Susan Prescott, Apple’s vice president of Enterprise Product Marketing. “Apple Business Essentials helps small businesses manage the full lifecycle of their Apple products — from device management and storage to support and repairs — so they can focus on running and growing their business.”

When Apple Business Essentials came out of beta, Prescott said, “We wanted to provide an easy solution so SMBs can focus on handling their business, not their technology. Using this new service will result in invaluable time savings for customers.” – also for people without dedicated IT staff – who they can invest back into their business.”

What Verizon Said

“Partnering with Apple is just one more way we can support small businesses as they continue to be the source of countless jobs and innovations across America,” said Callie Field, president of T-Mobile Business Group. “We’re always looking for ways to bring more value to our customers, and by partnering with Apple we can tackle a whole new pain point for small businesses: IT management.”

What’s on the schedule?

The first and perhaps most important is that this plan is scalable. For $50/month/line, any employee who adds a new line to the plan gets an iPhone 13. The fine print seems to say you need six or more lines.

T-Mobile explains:

Every employee who adds a new line to the plan gets a new iPhone 13. Ultimate+ for iPhone is the only wireless plan that allows customers to get the all-new Apple Business Essentials, which combines device management, 24/7 Apple support, and iCloud backup. up and storage — in one flexible plan. There is unlimited calling, texting and premium smartphone data on T-Mobile’s network. The plan includes a whopping 200GB of super-fast hotspot data per month, so small businesses can keep their devices connected. Customers will get unlimited Wi-Fi on select American, Delta and Alaska Airlines flights — with more airlines, including United, launching later this year. The plan helps keep business customers connected in more than 210 countries and destinations around the world with unlimited texting and data, including 5 GB of free high-speed data per month.

T-Mobile is also launching an a la carte option that allows customers to add Business Essentials to any T-Mobile business plan for $2.99 ​​per month. This option is free until the end of 2022.

What a customer said

Apple Business Essentials and T-Mobile customer Nick Dominguez Jr., chief operations officer at Vertical-One in El Paso, TX, said (in a statement):

“Apple Business Essentials changed the game for us, with iCloud backups and the ability to make quick fixes when we need them. It gives us freedom because we spend less time on IT and more time on developing our business.”

What an analyst said

When Apple Business Essentials was introduced, Research into constellations analyst R “Ray” Wang said, “The bottom line is that small businesses can now get the same level of service that large businesses already get. If you think about the challenges of large business service, this is now available to small businesses as well. .”

Forrester research Senior analyst Andrew Hewitt said: “The combined management, implementation, support and security services are especially valuable to SMB customers, as these customers often don’t have the staff to support these services alone, as businesses do.

[Also read: How not to upgrade your enterprise technology]

What about Tap to Pay?

I think there are also implications beyond the obvious. Take, for example, Tap to Pay. Apple’s recent introduction of Tap to Pay will inevitably spark interest among US SMBs who will be interested in taking contactless payments with an Apple device. However, as critics of the scheme have pointed out, the problem with it is how much rough handling the iPhone used to take payments can take. The AppleCare+ component of Business Essentials can help with that, as it offers 24/7 employee phone support and on-site repair for iPhone.

What now?

We know that Apple’s status in enterprise and business IT is: fast growing. Even in a depressed market, Apple’s Mac and iPhone share continues to grow, and the decision to build a services component into the company’s offerings to the industry can only pay dividends. The T-Mobile link can’t harm those pushing serviceswhich will once again help Apple build its services revenue while maintaining the momentum behind the increased proliferation of its devices in US enterprise technology.

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Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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