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A few months ago, 9to5Mac explained how businesses now can upgrade their Macs every 90 days through a 3rd party financing company. Through CIT, companies can get a base model ($999) Macbook Air for $30/month with the option to upgrade it in 3 months if a new model comes out. I believe that Apple is just testing the waters here, and a new business lease program that enables regular upgrades is on the way soon.

About Apple @ Work: Bradley Chambers managed an enterprise IT network from 2009 to 2021. Through his experience deploying and managing firewalls, switches, a mobile device management system, enterprise-grade Wi-Fi, 100s of Macs, and 100s of iPads, Bradley will highlight ways in which Apple IT managers deploy Apple devices, build networks to support them, train users, stories from the trenches of IT management, and ways Apple could improve its products for IT departments.


Why would Apple offer a regular upgrade program for enterprises?

As Apple Silicon continues to advance rapidly, we’re seeing businesses upgrade the laptops of their employees to increase productivity. With remote work, a laptop or desktop is the primary way someone’s job is completed. So having “the best of the best” can make employees happier and more productive.

As 9to5Mac detailed back in November, developers who are using the new M1 Max MacBook Pros are seeing a dramatic increase in productivity. As Apple Silicon continues to advance at a rapid pace, having the latest and most powerful machines can result in a productivity increase that outweighs the cost of the computers.

There’s an old saying about being “penny-wise but dollar-dumb.” Engineering departments sometimes fall victim to the adage, thinking they’re “saving” $1k/laptop while dozens of Engineers are sitting idle, staring at progress bars.

Developer time is almost always more expensive than hardware, as I’ve hopefully demonstrated here. If you extrapolate the results of this article to your entire department, you might find that a targeted hardware refresh saves you $500k–$1M in productivity per year.

As Apple has offered an annual iPhone upgrade to consumers, a laptop upgrade for enterprise customers and small businesses will be a way to ensure that employees have the latest machines with “fewer miles” on them. I think about it like I do a car lease for someone that drives all the time. For someone that works from home, they’re putting a lot of “miles” on their computers each day. Having a laptop that’s seen a lot of miles has a potential for hardware failure so a continual refresh might save them from loss of productivity.

There are a lot of benefits for organizations here that already lease their computers, but Apple will be able to refurbish the computers and resell them on its online store.

Zero-touch makes it possible

From an IT perspective, refreshing their devices each year might seem like a lot of work, but zero-touch deployment makes it a turn-key process. IT can process the order with Apple for the annual upgrades; employees will unbox the laptops, enroll them in the MDM, log in with their corporate accounts, install their apps and then be back up and running with minimal effort from their IT team.

If you think about Apple’s MDM strategy (and success) from a high level, technology that makes it easier to deploy new Macs is a way to encourage IT departments to update more often than they would have otherwise.

Summary

For companies already leasing their devices, having the option to upgrade on an annual basis would continue to simplify their operating expenses. In addition, a yearly Mac upgrade program for businesses that are offered directly by Apple would offer a lot of benefits for all parties involved.

Apple @ Work is brought to you by Mosyle, the leader in modern mobile device management (MDM) and security for Apple enterprise and education customers. Over 28,000 organizations leverage Mosyle solutions to automate the deployment,  management and security of millions of Apple devices daily. Request a FREE account today and discover how you can put your Apple fleet on auto-pilot at a price point that is hard to believe

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About the Author

Bradley Chambers

Bradley lives in Chattanooga, TN.

Tips, feedback, corrections and questions can be sent to Bradley@9to5mac.com.