After a beta period with thousands of businesses, Apple is ready to extend simplified device management, iCloud Drive storage, and device repair solution to all small businesses. Originally launching in beta in November of 2021, Apple Business Essentials is designed to take the headache out of device management for growing organizations using Apple.

There are multiple plans included for IT managers and business owners to pick the best for their business. New with the final release, Apple is allowing a single device solution that includes 50GB of iCloud storage for only $2.99 per month. Apple offers a multidevice solution for up to 3 devices and 200GB of storage for $6.99 per user per month. For those who have more demanding storage needs, there is a $12.99 per month plan that includes up to 2TB of storage.

Apple Business Essentials helps small businesses with employee onboarding with configuring, deploying and managing Apple products. With the Collections feature inside the web portal, groups of apps can be delivered to employees with just a few clicks. System settings can be automatically pushed to devices, such as VPN configurations, Wi-Fi passwords, and more.

Early feedback from customers has been strong and many have reported the time savings they’ve gained with device rollouts – particularly for remote employees.

“Apple has a deep and decades-long commitment to helping small businesses thrive. From dedicated business teams in our stores to the App Store Small Business Program, our goal is to help each company grow, compete, and succeed,” said Susan Prescott, Apple’s vice president of Enterprise and Education Marketing. “We look forward to bringing Apple Business Essentials to even more small businesses to simplify device management, storage, support, and repairs. Using this new service leads to invaluable time savings for customers — including those without dedicated IT staff — that they can invest back into their business.”

AppleCare+ For Business Essentials

One big part of Apple Business Essentials was the option for AppleCare+ inside the subscription. The plans are as followed:

  • $9.99/month: single device, 50GB storage, one repair. credit, onsite repairs (see below on which devices), and 24/7 end user support
  • $19.99/month: up to 3 devices per user, 200GB storage, two repair credits, onsite repairs (see below on which devices), and 24/7 end user support
  • $24.99/month: up to 3 devices per user, 2TB storage, two repair credits, onsite repairs (see below on which devices), and 24/7 end user support

Onsite repairs are available with AppleCare+ for Business Essentials plans in Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, New York City, and the San Francisco Bay Area to start, with more locations to come at a later date. Four-hour repairs are available for iPhones only; next-day appointments are available for Mac, iPad, and Apple TV at Apple Stores or Apple-authorized repair centers. The repair credits are also cumulative per account, so if you have 85 devices on the $19.99/month plan, you have 170 repair credits for your organization. Repairs can be initiated by the end-user or by the organization.

“Espresso machines are the last piece of food service equipment art, and the centerpiece of every cafe. We take pride in being part of the international coffee community with a superior customer experience in the Milwaukee area,” said Peter Kelsch, Espresso Services Inc.’s president. “I started this business in 1989 on Apple products, and now iPhone, iPad, and Mac are used across sales, operations, and service for our coffee equipment business. Apple Business Essentials makes deployment and security simple for our business as we continue to grow, and will reduce our IT management overhead and streamline our growth process. It’s going to be a game-changer for our business.”

What’s new since the beta period?

All new customers will receive two months free with sign-up so IT can get a handle on how the service works, and how it will be implemented. Apple has also noted that one of the most requested features has been the deployment of apps not in the Mac App Store, and Apple plans to deliver that feature later this summer.

Once a company is signed up, employees sign in to their work account on their iOS or Mac using a Managed Apple ID. Once signed in, they’ll gain access to the new Apple Business Essentials app, where they can download work apps available within their organization. Managed Apple IDs can be created by federating with Microsoft Azure Active Directory. For Google Workspace customers, integration is coming later this spring.

Small businesses can sign up for the service on Apple’s Business Portal. Apple has more information in the press release.

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Bradley Chambers

Bradley lives in Chattanooga, TN.

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