Presented by iStore Business

How South African businesses can save money by switching to Apple

Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is a growing focus area in global and local enterprise IT, as a result of which the perceived cost gap between PC and Apple is narrowing significantly worldwide.

In the United States, multiple studies show that an Apple ecosystem costs 15%-30% less than a PC system when it comes to TCO.

So if your impression is that a genuine catalyst for digital transformation is out of reach; that superior tools, enhanced performance, and access to continued innovation are not possible for your organisation, allow this article to correct that.

Preliminary results from a local sample study have revealed potential savings of more than 25% for a single organisation.

To unpack the numbers, here are the insights from a composite TCO study conducted by iStore Business based on a South African organisation of 300 people.

Sample study

In the sample organisation, the following staff breakdown was assumed:

  • 20 directors / senior managers
  • 30 developers / high-end users
  • 150 salespeople / office staff / managers
  • 100 retail staff members

iStore Business conducted an audit of typical software applications and found that the vast majority of users could switch to Apple without requiring a virtual environment to be set up – i.e. users could use existing or similar software natively on their chosen Apple device.

Developers and high-end users required top-of-the-range Macbook Pros, while sales staff could use Macbook Air 128GBs and retail staff could switch to iPads for on-the-floor duties, including POS, stocktake, stock search, CRM, training, and basic office tasks.

Once the hardware requirements were determined, it was found that the average PC acquisition cost through the organisation was R14,700, as compared to R21,100 for Apple. On adding in the iPad costs, the Apple average dropped to R16,354.

Final pricing

Following the TCO methodology to accurately determine final pricing, these are the factors considered:

  • Deployment costs – existing PC deployment tools vs Apple Business Manager [ABM] and Meraki in this particular case.
  • Operating licence costs – the latest PC operating licence vs Apple OS, iOS.
  • Support costs – the average PC desktop support salary vs an iStore Business-outsourced Apple specialist.

Finally, the assumption was made, based on industry feedback, that replacement would happen every three years to keep technology relevant. The study included investigations into what salvage could realistically be achieved as a way to recover costs.

Actual quotes were used to compare like-for-like costings and hardware choice was based on information provided by similar-sized companies, to yield accurate numbers.

The results

Having the inside perspective as iStore Business, we expected Apple to come out on top, but did not expect such a wide variance.

Below are the key saving areas identified:

1. Deployment

Apple Business Manager (ABM), and the process of linking to a reputable zero-touch Mobile Device Management (MDM), works extremely well and is very competitively priced.

These solutions are being used by large enterprises like IBM, financial institutions, and other entities to manage and reduce costs. More importantly, however, they transform the timeframe for machine deployment.

2. Operating licence and software stack

With MS Office 365, local Azure hosting, and greater numbers of legacy applications being replaced by cloud services, larger portions of the workforce can now use Apple devices.

Because these applications run off browsers or natively, the traditional reliance on paid-for operating licences decreases. Indeed, there is a big saving in the Apple column when it comes to a free operating licence, with free upgrades, that is supported for five-plus years.

3. Support

Via a mixture of ABM, MDM, remote management tools, and more reliable hardware, a company can significantly reduce support hours. This gives a company the opportunity to redeploy IT teams into new areas of support such as cyber security, data analytics, app development, cloud management services and more.

4. Salvage

Many companies currently do not or cannot leverage resale values due to low returns or the service not being readily available. iStore Business not only provides guaranteed buy backs of your devices, but also facilitates the process for you.

What could a company expect to recover on its hardware? iStore Business makes salvage easier by guaranteeing a 25% recovery rate. For PC, the study assumed 10%.

In fact, market values currently provide for closer to 30%-40% recovery on Macs, which means that Apple offers both the safety of the guarantee and the benefit of the possible upside.

mac vs pc


The sample case study found a R2,462,894 saving over three years across all users, or an average of R8,200 per user. In larger organisations in the study, the savings realised have been as much as R10,000 per user, or R10 million per 1,000 users.

More and more information is emerging to show that IT and Procurement should consider not only upfront costs, but also the TCO of enterprise IT spend. So, whether your company is small, medium, or large in size, the savings could be substantial.

Not only can you save money by switching to Apple, but by simply giving your employees the ability to choose their technology it is proven to increase work satisfaction and productivity.

Contact iStore Business today to learn how you can save.

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How South African businesses can save money by switching to Apple