Apple has always encouraged the use of Apple devices at work,
often pitching Macs and iPads as powerful productivity machines,
but the company hasn't really directed a lot of software and
services specifically at the corporate interests. That's changing
with the new Apple Business Essentials service.
Currently in beta with a full launch in the spring of 2022,
Apple Business Essentials combines device management, iCloud
storage, employee onboarding, and service/support into a single
monthly subscription package. It's aimed as business with up to 500
employees, and features a simplified set of three price tiers:
The basic US$2.99/mo (per user) plan supports a single device and
provides 50GB of iCloud storage.
Support up to three devices per user and get 200GB of iCloud
storage with the US$6.99/mo (per user) plan.
The top tier plan is US$12.99/mo (per user) and supports three
devices per user with 2TB of iCloud storage.
When the service exits beta in the spring of 2022, businesses
will be able to add AppleCare+ to their plans and get prioritised
Apple Support, training for IT and employees, and up to two device
repairs per plan per year.
The service lets IT departments easily manage systems with new
managed Apple IDs that are separate from their personal Apple IDs.
When users add those to devices, it can push things like Wi-Fi and
VPN settings, enforce important security settings like FileVault,
and connects to that user's Business Essentials iCloud storage
space. It also installs a new Business Essentials app where the
user can download business software that is assigned to them and
can request support.
If a user logs in to their managed Apple ID on
a personal device, it uses different cryptographic keys for work
data, to keep it separate from personal data.
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