Apple is introducing a new business offering called Apple Business Essentials, starting today in the U.S. as a free beta. It combines device management, 24/7 phone support for IT and end-users, business iCloud storage, and an option for onsite repairs for businesses of up to 500 employees. The new service enable IT departments to configure settings and apps for individual users, groups, or stand-alone devices. If employees use a personal device at work, Apple’s User Enrollment creates cryptographic separation for their work data to keep personal data private while company data remains secure. End users can initiate repairs directly from the new Apple Business Essentials app, and an Apple-trained technician will come onsite in as little as four hours to repair devices. Susan Prescott, vice president of enterprise and education marketing at Apple, said that the company wanted to help these customers onboard, support and update employee Apple devices, then offboard them when workers leave the company.
Pricing plans can be customized to support each user with up to three devices and up to 2TB of secure storage in iCloud, starting at $2.99 to $12.99 per month. There will be an additional per-user charge for the support pieces, although that won’t be ready until the solution is generally available.The new service will have a full release in spring 2022. About Apple’s actual interesrs, it push to sell more digital services to its customers, such as streaming video and music subscriptions.