Apple launches subscription service aimed at small-business users

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Nov 10 (Businesshala) – Apple Inc (AAPL.O) on Wednesday launched a new subscription service aimed at helping small business owners manage the Apple devices used by their employees.

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Business Essentials, as Apple is calling the service, is similar to management software that companies such as Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) or VMware Inc. (VMW.N) can use to install and secure their fleets of phones, laptops, and laptops. Sell ​​it to big business. and pills. But Apple’s version is simplified for businesses with 50 to 500 employees who either have a small IT department or none at all.

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The service will cost between $2.99 ​​and $12.99 per month per user, depending on how many devices the business wants to manage and how much cloud storage the business wants for each employee.

For an additional monthly cost, Apple will offer a service to repair or replace broken hardware at a business within four hours, though the company said it has yet to set pricing for that service.

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“Time is of the essence – for small businesses, it’s one of their most valuable resources,” Susan Prescott, Apple’s vice president of enterprise and education marketing, told Businesshala in an interview. “As they start to grow, there are more demands on their time. And this can be done in exchange for keeping the business running the things they need to do.”

Maribel Lopez, founder and principal analyst at Lopez Research, said the pairing of management software with a repair service subscription is unique in the industry.

“People think the part doesn’t matter, but I think they’re underestimating the power of being able to get really good service,” she said.

Apple said it will begin testing Business Essentials in the United States on Wednesday, and it will remain free until the service is finalized next year. Officials said Apple plans to expand it to other locations in the future.

Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by Steve Orlofsky

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