KEY POINTS

  • Apple, Verizon pitch iPhone 12 and 5G networks to businesses
  • 5G ultra-wideband built for industrial commercial use: Verizon Business CEO
  • Apple is looking at growth in businesses through 'fleet swap'

Apple is teaming up with Verizon to target business customers for its newest iPhone 12 with 5G compatibility.

Apple and Verizon are offering big discounts to businesses for swapping entire fleets of their staff's mobile devices with new iPhone 12  handsets with Verizon’s 5G network, irrespective of which carrier they subscribe to. These customers will be charged no upfront costs for the iPhones. They will pay either no monthly cost or a very low monthly charge for iPhone 12 minis.

Announcing the "fleet swap" at an event Thursday, the companies highlighted ways in which the iPhone 12 would be useful to businesses with strong internet on the 5G network. 5G's higher bandwidth than existing networks will help in the seamless functioning of wireless devices in high data-consuming activities in companies.

“This makes it simple, it makes it easy, it makes it affordable for enterprises to accelerate their transformation because of the power of 5G from Verizon and the device from Apple,” Tami Erwin, CEO of Verizon Business, was quoted as saying by CNN.

Launched in October, iPhone 12 is now being pitched to business consumers.

This is doubly significant for Verizon, as it unveiled its first two major indoor 5G ultra-wideband services for its enterprise customers, TechCrunch reported. Initial customers for the service included General Motors, which is using the technology in its Detroit assembly center, and Honeywell. This could be a chance for the carrier to get more enterprise customers on its network.

Telecom companies may be viewing 5G ultra-wideband internet as a feature for businesses rather than its lower-bandwidth versions, which are more consumer-focussed.

Erwin is quoted in the TechCrunch report as saying that 5G (ultra-wideband) is “really filling a need for capacity and capability.” She stressed that the technology is built for industrial commercial use cases and for enterprise.

This is also a chance for Apple to get its iPhones to more business customers. “We have added features for enterprise with every major software release. Today, virtually all of the Fortune 500 companies use iPhone, iPad and Mac, and momentum in business is growing,” Susan Prescott, vice president of Apple’s Markets, Apps and Services, was quoted as saying by CNN.

Growth in enterprise customers may help Apple offset the possible downturn in individual customers this year due to the global economic slowdown owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

The 5G market in the U.S. is very competitive, with carriers spending massive funds on developing 5G technology.

Pegatron is crucial to the production of the iPhone and is involved in the creation of parts for the US firm’s latest model, the iPhone 12 Pegatron is crucial to the production of the iPhone and is involved in the creation of parts for the US firm’s latest model, the iPhone 12 Photo: AFP / Mladen ANTONOV