Why Macs Have Lower TCO Than PCs
Apple products might look more expensive at a first sight than Windows PCs, but the balance clearly changes if we take all software and support costs into consideration.
The number of Mac computers has visibly grown among consumers, mainly because of their modern design and features, built-in security and ease of use. Enterprises are also becoming more receptive to Mac adoption, although there is still a common misbelief prevalent within companies when it comes to buying Macs for the workforce. The assumption is that they are not affordable compared to the costs of Windows PCs. But when you compare the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) of the two products, Mac is the clear winner.
The case of IBM
Fletcher Previn, the IT Vice President of IBM held a presentation at the Jamf tech conference, where he had talked about the usage and costs of Macs vs PCs inside IBM, proving that the total cost of ownership of Macs is significantly lower. The number of Macs increased inside IBM, reaching 100.000 users by the end of last year. From the total number of Mac users, only 5% needed help-desk support, versus 40% of PC users, resulting in lower costs for Mac support. The company also reports that Mac users are more satisfied with their laptops than PC users, getting a 91% user satisfaction. According to Previn, IBM’s approach to Apple is to give employees the devices they want, manage them in a modern way, and drive self-sufficiency in the environment. Previn’s conclusion was that when it comes to keeping operating systems updated, every model of Mac is a significant net saving, compared to similarly configured Windows PC models.
Price tag isn’t everything
But let’s get back to what everyone is really concerned about: prices. We all know that if look at the purchase price alone, PCs are cheaper than Macs. But few people think of all the implied costs like software, management, support, etc., that come with the product. The cheapest laptop from Apple starts at $999, but if you sum up all the software costs, Windows PCs are 3 times more expensive than Macs. A Mac is around $454 more expensive than a PC, saving up to $543 per Mac, compared with a similarly configured PC.
Apple has a good strategy for Macs, building them with high-end specs that are meant to last a long time. Meanwhile, PCs’ prices vary depending on the level of their specifications level: entry-level (or basic), mid-level, and high-end, making them often much cheaper than Macs.
Some of the main advantages of Macs is that they have a copy of macOS free of cost, they can be linked to a domain, including Active Directory, they include full disk encryption, File Vault, and with XProtect they do not require any additional software, to protect against malware.
On the other hand, to add all these features to Windows, users must purchase them or upgrade to the Pro version (that costs around $199 for Windows 10) that comes with full disk encryption (Bitlocker), but no antivirus software which needs to be bought separately.
Unlike Windows, Apple offers a built-in solution, called Device Enrollment Program (DEP) that allows companies to order Macs and iOS devices for their employees, automatically enrolling them as corporate-owned devices, saving time and costs. For Windows 10, companies need to purchase an alternative solution, wasting more time and money.
Macs breaking into business
Apple will never sell cheaper versions of their Macs. The company has to maintain the user experience and high quality expected of its products by both companies and consumers. While Macs are preferred at IBM, Cisco claims that Apple delivers the “world’s most innovative mobile tech,” and Deloitte thinks that Apple products are “essential to the modern workforce”.
Even if PC prices are smaller, they are 3 times the cost to manage and drive 2 times the number of support calls. Companies need more tools and software in order to manage and secure PCs, while Macs have built-in security and need less support, bringing net savings to the company. If you take all these things into consideration, the total cost of ownership is strongly lower for Macs, which will lead to further growth of Mac computers in the enterprise world in the near future.
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