The debate is over: IBM confirms that Apple Macs are $535 less expensive than Windows PCs

“Attendees arrived early to the Guthrie [Wednesday] morning to claim seats for the most anticipated session at the Jamf Nation User Conference (JNUC),” Jeni Asaba reports for Jamf. “And they weren’t disappointed. In a passionate presentation from industry leaders in enterprise, education and healthcare, attendees learned how they too can achieve unprecedented success in their own environments.”

“Fletcher Previn, VP of Workplace as a Service at IBM, started the discussion by sharing what they’ve done to transform company culture for the 400,000+ employees who span across IBM’s 2,800 locations. It started with user choice,” Asaba reports. “In 2015, IBM let their employees decide – Windows or Mac. ‘The goal was to deliver a great employee choice program and strive to achieve the best Mac program,’ Previn said. An emerging favorite meant the deployment of 30,000 Macs over the course of the year. But that number has grown. With more employees choosing Mac than ever before, the company now has 90,000 deployed (with only five admins supporting them), making it the largest Mac deployment on earth.”

“IBM found that not only do PCs drive twice the amount of support calls, they’re also three times more expensive,” Asaba reports. “That’s right, depending on the model, IBM is saving anywhere from $273 – $543 per Mac compared to a PC, over a four-year lifespan. “And this reflects the best pricing we’ve ever gotten from Microsoft,” Previn said. Multiply that number by the 100,000+ Macs IBM expects to have deployed by the end of the year, and we’re talking some serious savings. Needless to say, the employees at IBM got it right. And with 73% of them saying they want their next computer to be a Mac, the success will only increase with time.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Told ya so.

Total Cost of Ownership should be of more concern to the world’s personal computer buyers than initial sticker price. You get what you pay for, so get a Mac. MacDailyNews, June 25, 2004

Why are so many people so afraid to imagine an end to the dark ages of personal computing? Too many MSFT shares in the mutual fund? We have no such problem. Apple Mac will embrace, then extinguish – whether analysts grasp what’s happening or not. — MacDailyNews, March 23, 2007

Apple Inc., the enterprise IT company – December 15, 2015
IBM: Every Mac we buy is making and saving us money – October 28, 2015
Now we know why IT support hates Macs (hint: Windows PCs = job security) – October 19, 2015
IBM: Corporate Mac users need less IT support than those stuck on Windows – October 18, 2015
Just 5% of Mac users at IBM need help desk support vs. 40% of Windows PC sufferers – October 15, 2015


    1. I’d also include discrete GPU upgrades, which are often not even options on lower-end Macs, so you have to buy a more expensive model just for the *option* to upgrade the GPU.

      Take the iMac: GPU upgrade not available on any 21.5″ model. Right away you’re paying $700 more for the basic 27″ model with discrete GPU ($1800), and if that’s not enough, you have to go to the top-end iMac (+$500 = $2300) to even get the option for the $250 GPU upgrade.

      The Macbook Pros are even worse: no discrete GPU option unless you go all the way to the top, starting at $2500.

      1. Just like Steve said about Microsoft, You totally don’t get it. You want the Mac to be a copy of the PC. If that’s what you want, get a PC and tinker away all you want. Replace your cards with the one out of the 100 that YOU personally fancy. Leave us Mac owners with the one or two cards that work and provide a great experience.

    1. Sometimes cheap is just that: cheap. Any business that does not look at total cost of ownership is just being short sighted.

      But, it seems that MDN has a short memory. This IBM study is just one of MANY over the years. You can go back to the Dark Days and even find a report from Intel itself (back when Intel and Microsoft were THE duopoly that the Mac world fought against). That report said — in general terms — that if you had if you had 5% or less Macs distributed across the enterprise then your support costs were greater than if you had zero Macs and only Wintel boxes. But, if you had more than 5% Macs then the support costs were less than if you were 100% Wintel. It went on to show that if an enterprise was 100% Macs everywhere possible that the support costs were the least. Intel’s own report showed that total cost of ownership — even way back then — was less when all factors were taken into account.

      It was not surprising that Intel tried to bury that report within a few weeks of it becoming public. But, I wouldn’t be surprised if you could find it on the ‘net if you spent some effort looking for it.

  1. Presumably it is $543 in “cash” costs. If so, then we must also add the value of productivity improvements seen w Mac over PC (e.g., less reboot time, less stress, better “fahrvergnugen”, or driving pleasure, as the old Mercedes ads once put it.

    1. Depending on the business’ policy of shut down vs sleep or hibernate that value difference may not be as large as you imagine. On the Education front those same qualities you attribute to Macs is working for Chromebooks.

  2. Didn’t read the full article, but odd they say best price MS gave, I’m assuming for the Win licenses, but it implies for the computers. They don’t mention that buying $100,000 units, I guarantee they’re getting massive discounts from Apple.
    I fully agree the support costs will be much cheaper etc., but I think that’s not fully telling the story.

  3. Glad that IBM is finally waking up to this fact.

    There is a 600 person software company I consult for. They are 100% Macs and don’t even have a single IT person or help desk. Amazing how everyone’s stuff “just works” 😉

  4. For intelligent people TOC makes sense and is understood. For poorer and ignorant people, cost will always be the motivating factor. I see it all the time, people still think Apple products are too expensive without seeing the benefit. Even when they get bitten with viruses or ransomware, they still see the $249 cheap laptop as acceptable. You can’t change stupid.

    1. “you can’t change stupid” has to be one of the most arrogant quips ever. The solution is education, and it’s Apple’s job to do that. Cook has been to lazy to advertise Macs, let alone support businesses and enterprises that need more than a netbook to do what they do.

      Here you go: tell us how to replace a lab running Simulink with Apple gear. Tell us what it will cost. I assure you, Apple has nothing up to the task, even if Apple threw in free connector adapters for all the necessary connections that they just won’t support with an integrated solution.

      1. I’ve known a lot of “educated” managers and supervisors that were really really stupid. Or, what was more likely, they just didn’t care.
        When that happens, your company is in trouble.

  5. I think it’s worse than that. If you count the user’s time as money wasted in keeping the godawful rubbish working from day to day. I’ve had to use three (business, uni and home) and all of them died and had to be resurrected from viruses and malware in spite of updated AV software, or maybe because of it. It’s gaming has kept so many computer literate on Windoze.

  6. Interesting study. I just did a quick ballpark for Android vs iOS. The following is comparing a $350 Android phone to a $700 iPhone:

    1. Malware costs – can’t use Android device for banking or buying things on the Internet/apps/phone call = $200 a year nuisance penalty and/or money stolen out of accounts.

    2. Resale costs – many mid-range Androids are near worthless after two years = $300 less. The iPhone is still worth around $300 after two years.

    3. Repair costs over two years – probably averages $75 a year more than the iPhone for the average Android phone. This includes cost to do the repairs, lost productivity, cost to drive to the carrier, etc.

    4. Apps or media not working properly on every Android device – $15 a year in nuisance fees.

    5. Information deleted on microSD cards – the Android device needs to be backed up eight times as much as an iPhone. This means Android phones with cheap microSD cards need to be backed up 96 more times than the iPhone over a two year period. This comes to around $3800 worth of lost in productivity. For this study, I will assume the average Android user doesn’t backup this often, and say losing data on a microSD card is a priceless loss.

    So, when adding the above expenses there are $880+ more costs associated with an Android phone than there is with an iPhone. This means an average $350 Android phone is $530 more expensive than a $700 iPhone for the average user over a two year period ($350 + $880 in added expenses) > $700.

  7. First, how can the PC be three times more expensive but the Mac saves ~ 200 to 500 ? That does not add up (I tried) and the article implies they are referring to up-front sticker price, not TCO.
    MDN are out of touch if they think Mac’s can just replace PC’s in majority of businesses without running Windows on them.

  8. I have never understood why people will spend more than $50,000 to drive 30 minutes each way to work only to plug away on a $350 computer that is a piece of crap.

    The megahertz wars are long over, but that consumer logic is still firmly embedded in the brain.

  9. I worked IT support in a major Federal agency until 2008. Shortly before my departure, Procurement was blocking the purchase of Apple computers. A few months later I procured my own iMac. I’m still using it (though I use my iPad more). Expenses to date:

    – a RAM upgrade from 1GB to 2GB
    – a few inexpensive OS upgrades before they were made free
    – a RAM upgrade from 2GB to 4GB

    That’s it.

    1. I guess that’s comparable to my HP notebook that I bought in 2006 with a free upgrade to Vista (which I never installed). Still works great. Expenses to date:

      – a replacement laptop battery
      – replacement of a failed internal drive with a Hybrid SSD

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