General Electric to offer Apple Macs to 330,000 employees as company standardizes on iOS for mobile

“We saw yesterday how Microsoft’s absence in mobile led to the removal of Surface tablets from Delta’s employee offerings, and today we have more evidence of the erosion of Microsoft’s dominance in the enterprise as companies increasingly work to simplify their platforms,” MSPoweruser reports.

“Industrial giant GE has announced a partnership with Apple to bring Predix, GE’s software platform for the Industrial Internet, to Apple’s iPhone smartphones and iPad tablets,” MSPoweruser reports. “The new Predix-iOS software development kit will include tools that software developers can use to write industrial apps that will run on Apple’s iOS operating system.”

“As part of the partnership, GE will make iPhones and iPads the preferred mobile devices for their workers around the world,” MSPoweruser reports. “GE will also be offering Apple’s Mac computers as an option for their 330,000 employees.”

Read more in the full article here.

GE “will let any GE employee who wants a Mac have one, instead of a Windows PC,” Andrew Orlowski reports for The Register. “GE follows the lead of IBM, which has supplied 100,000 staff with Macs, and has been touting the lower cost of Macs in the enterprise as a result. IBM claimed last year that 40 per cent of Windows users called the IT help desk, compared to 5 per cent of Mac users – a shocking figure. A deployment of 90,000 required only five admins. And although Apple hardware costs much more initially, IBM reckons it is making considerable total cost of ownership savings over a four-year period: some $273 to $543 per Mac.”

“iOS 11 doesn’t do a great deal for the iPhone, but it transforms the iPad into a viable computer,” Orlowski reports. “The drag and drop makes the clipboard redundant for many operations. The whole thing exudes confidence.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We Mac users have been telling the world for decades that Macs are less expensive in the long run due to reliability and security.

Even before iPhone, a few hearty souls foresaw that the Dark Age of Personal Computing was drawing to a close:

As we have always said, even as many short-sightedly waved (and continue to wave) the white flag, the war is not over. And, yes, we shall prevail… No company is invincible. Not even Microsoft. — MacDailyNews, January 10, 2005

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 Watch Cool Smirk emoji

Apple and General Electric partner to bring Predix industrial apps to iPhone and iPad – October 18, 2017
The debate is over: IBM confirms that Apple Macs are $535 less expensive than Windows PCs – October 20, 2016
Steve Jobs’ plan to take back the personal computing business from Microsoft proceeding apace – December 7, 2009
Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ ultimate goal: ‘to take back the computer business from Microsoft’ – June 16, 2005


  1. Please, please Mr Tim, make a “corporate Mac box” with user replaceable RAM, SSD/HDD and video card with ethernet, USB, HDMI ports and a SD slot. Please please please.

    For extra credit partner with Parallels or VMware AND Microsoft to ofter “1-click” installation of Windows for small companies or their clients that have a few “legacy Apps” that require windows.

    These two things make the transition from windows to mac very easy for business owners.

    Remember: I spent $2800 making the switch and I’m glad I did, but convincing my boss to do that for 50 people isn’t an easy thing to do. (even if it is cost effective in the long run).

    1. I think TC is counting on people making the switch anyway in time, they’d rather have the “corporate Mac box” with less upgradeability though to ensure regular upgrades. Apple’s hardware longevity has been a double edged sword, as the company isn’t earning much off of users whose machines last 5+ years. My 2013 Air is still going strong and barring sudden SSD failure, I hope it’ll serve me for at least a few more.

      1. last quarter Macs made more money than iPad.
        It made near TWICE the revenues of Watch, AirPods, Beats, iPods, TV, accessories COMBINED — the ‘Other Products’ in Apple’s financials. ( 5 billion plus vs 2 billion plus).
        This has been happening for many quarters.

        Apple’s Mac neglect has nothing to do with revenues . People assume that Macs don’t make money (I get it over and over again here at MDN that Macs are at ‘deaths door’ or something) because it’s hard to wrap our heads around the bizarre notion that they neglect a product that makes so much money (as a separate business it would a hundred plus on the Fortune 500) . They neglect it to the extent of slow or no updates for some models and practically NO ADVERTISING, not even cheap web ads (when I read MDN I get Acer, Amazon ads and no Mac ads).

        If they had poured a bit more into Macs, increase of sales like 5-10% a year COMPOUNDED over years would have led to billions more $ today.

        Mac’s neglect has to do more I believe with:

        a) Tim ‘Who Needs a PC’ Cook’s erroneous belief a few years ago that iPad revenues would soon overtake Mac ( go read through his comments over the years) But that didn’t happen as after a peak iPad sales dropped over a cliff and is about half it’s peak levels although improving slightly with the cheaper iPads and Pro models. Although iPad unit sales are higher than Mac today, revenues are lower due to lower Average Selling Price.

        Tim Cook has been slow to admit he was wrong and ramp up again. ( He’s still pouring resources into iPad which might be a good thing as I besides Mac I like iPads .. )

        Recently they had to RUSH out Kaby Lake Macs because Currently there are NO MACs CAPABLE of doing high end development work in AR/VR (or even advance 3D design to make Apple hardware) as the GPUs are too weak . the faster Kaby Lake Macs came with TB 3 and eGPUs was a possible work around. (that’s why they tried to sell the eGPU workaround solution to developers in WWDC). Without the Kaby Lake rush out (just a few months after Sky Lake MBP) they would might be working with Linux and Windows machines to do development work in the billions costing New Apple Campus…

        see Apple’s studios at end of 2015 using old 2012 Cheese Grater Mac Pros (probably for the upgradable GPUs), no Cylinders in sight as Cylinder GPUs are weak.

        2) The other reason for Mac neglect is that Jony Ive is not very interested in some of the models.

        Nowadays he’s hanging out with designer friends/rivals in the high end fashion, watch, furniture, architectural businesses. He wants to build stuff that would impress them: see his ‘coffee table book’ (which practically has NO TEXT to explain the tech but just photos to show ‘how beautiful’ his designs are to his friends ), his furniture work in charities, his time spent on architecture ( one and half years to make door handles for the new Campus according to Reuters report and the Chicago store).

        Building the ‘Midi Mac’ (in between the Mini and Mac Pro which I and others like — the first poster suggested — have clamoured for for years) — i.e a ‘box’ NOT going to excite or get the attention of his designer friends so he’s not very interested. Look at the cylinder Mac Pro, an impractical design but beautiful shape, I think he believes it’s the ‘ultimate Mac’ as it’s beautiful and sleek. He’s no longer interested in building ‘ just a box’ (where the state of the art is just the tech like processors etc) as his furniture, watch friend/rivals don’t understand tech. (Ive already built a great box in the Cheese Grater Mac Pros all the way from the plastic G4s and I think he’s bored with them).

        That’s why in the Mac Pro apology meeting earlier in the year (MP Not updated since 2013. GPU not upgradable) Jony Ive wasn’t there but the SVP for SOFTWARE Federighi (who had nothing to do with the Mac Pro’s issue ) attended.

        They could EASILY build a better Mac Mini, a Midi Mac, a Mac Pro in few months if they just wanted simple boxes (Hackintosh machines built in basements are faster than all Macs today) but that’s not what Ive’s fashion designers at Apple want.

        I have MBP, upgraded Cheese Grater Mac Pros, a 12.9 iPad Pro. Apple investor.

        1. I understand your passion for the Mac. Sadly I think Apple doesn’t come close to sharing it, at least among the key decision makers. I think you might overestimate how much money they’re missing out on. I’m sure they’ve run thousands of projections using various scenarios and their profits from iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch (more complementary products than the Mac is), etc. are far more important to them than a Mac that lasts a consumer 5+ years (some people will buy 5 iPhones in that same time at a much greater profit margin). Believe me I’d like to see a better Mac mini too, I might replace my 2013 Air with it in a few years, but the iPhone market is orders of magnitude larger than the Mac Mini/Mac Pro market. Don’t forget the iMac Pro coming in December either, you may not like the sealed box approach, but it certainly will satisfy much of the “Pro” demand, as an official Mac Pro update is at least 1-2 years away.

        2. I appreciate your post.

          You have some points.

          Not sure what you mean by ‘projections’, figures I quoted are actual results from last quarter’s financial report.

          Aug 2017 Quarter Financials:

          Mac revenues:$ 5.59 billion
          iPad revenues : $4.96 billion
          Other Products (Watch, TV, Beats, iPod, AirPods, accessories etc) : 2.73 billion.

          The big advantage to selling iPads is that Apple probably generates more profit from services to iOS as they control the app pipeline, people buy Mac apps like Photoshop outside the Mac App store. But services ‘profit’ is probably lower than what might be seen from Services ‘revenue’ numbers as for example out of iOS app revenues 70% goes to the developer (from the remaining 30% Apple has to deduct expenses for the billion dollar server farms , financial transaction fees like Visa etc). It’s only after all these ‘expenses’ that you get services ‘profit’. One of the reasons why both Spotify and Neflix prime services companies lose money.

          Please note that as I said I think Mac revenues could be way higher than that 5 billion if they did things like update and Advertise , compounded over the years (like interest) a few percent would be huge, billions more probably . they didn’t even advertise Macs against the POS Windows 8.

          Please also note that when iPod sales (and iTunes) were booming , some people said Apple should abandon the Mac and become a Music Company. Instead Jobs doubled down on Mac as he believed that revenues and the eco system was important. From the plastic iMac he made the ‘lampshade’ iMac to the flat screen, the ‘Clamshell’ plastic iBooks, to white plastic to the Macbook Air, G4 Plastic tower to Aluminium Tower etc .

          All the while iPod was shooting up Jobs ran a whole bunch of Mac Ads. Jobs ran one NEW Mac ad a month (66 different Ads in 4 years in the Mac/PC guy series) until around the time Tim Cook took over as interim CEO.

        3. So what do you think the reason is for them leaving all this money on the table? Is it just arrogance, hubris, or do they really believe that the not-so-distant future is one in which 99% of people use iPhones and iPads as their exclusive computing devices?

    2. But just in case he’s listening, I’d like an Enterprise Apple ID system that provides for a single corporate AppleID, with subordinate userIDs. I’d like to be able to control who has access to which applications. I’d also like FileMaker to be brought into the iCloud umbrella. I’d like a reasonably priced iCloud FileMaker Server.

      1. They have Apple School Manager (ASM) for Education so why not Apple Enterprise Manager (AEM) for Business? or ABM… Unless they don’t want to compete with all the other companies doing some of that already. But, Apple could do it better!

    3. In its example of lower total cost of ownership IB< is modeling a 4 year replacement life cycle.

      $2800 equals $700 per year of ownership. SEVEN HUNDRED DOLLARS PER YEAR. If that breaks your budget, then as a successful enterprise you have failed.

      Expecting your employer to sell out 50 X $2800 ($140,000) all at once is totally unrealistic and shows a complete lack of understanding in managing a business.

      1. rp *never* stated that the rollout had to occur “all at once,” greggthurman. You are twisting his post in an attempt to make a cynical point, but you have been called out (once again).

        The company at which rp works likely owns computers of varying configurations and ages, from new to years old. If owners/management buy into a Mac transition, then they can start by addressing computer attrition with new Macs. If they have the desire and resources to accelerate the process, then they could add three to five additional Macs on top of the attrition number. The displaced PCs could be retained as spares, used for new employees (assuming there is growth), or sold to help defray the cost of the additional Macs.

        You seem to have a complete lack of understanding of *properly* managing a business, greggthurman!

    4. Please please Mr Tim, don’t listen to this person AND all the people that appear to support this “old school” nauseating mantra. “Give me replaceable RAM”, give me, “tinker slot this and tinker slot that”. Makes me sick. It is so “I want a faster horse” clap trap.

      Instead, “Mr. Tim”, give me powerful computers that give me an experience for the money I want to pay. Give me a $experience, a $$experience and a $$$experience. Buy the correct $ product for the experience you want.

      Please continue to put powerful processing in the hands of EVERYONE….. in the same way as powerful iPhones are appropriate for both personal AND corporate use. They don’t ask for a “corporate iPhone” because this is not historically embedded into the psyche as a “thing”.

      Imagine wondering into a Alien UFO. Would you expect one Alien to have a slighter better computer than the other? No they would all have the same processing power. Imagine two Aliens having this conversation…One says to the other, “Yeah, bummer, my beamer is not capable of doing a beam down to earth, I’ll ask Tech support to add more RAM and then I can beam down with you. But don’t hold your Nitrogen, Tech support is inundated with everyone requesting this upgrade. NO! Such half baked products requiring upgrades would not exist, period! The latest model would always be the best.

      1. My post wasn’t for the individuals that will use the machines, it was for the I.T. people that would RECOMMEND purchasing Macs. The replaceable part options is just a way to ease the transition.

        I’ve used dozens of machines in my professional life and I’ve rarely upgraded any of those parts. When the transition from CRT to LCD happened- I did go through video card updates. Just the concept of replacing a $150 SSD in the back of an iMac is enough to scare IT people away from recommending a Mac purchase. I simply want to remove ALL roadblocks from the transition process.

        TCO questions? Apple users know the numbers, windows IT people and bosses don’t know. My TOC for my iMac is $74/month and decreasing. One third what my windows machine costs me in lost time due to updates, backups, and screw ups per month.

        1. We have your back, rp. Your posts make sense to me. But Apple may prefer to handle its corporate opportunities as a simple extension of its consumer Mac approach. In that case, the same iMacs and MacBooks and such will be available, but potentially bundled with volume discounts and enhanced customer support. I believe that is the approach that Apple has used in the past for both the education and corporate markets. I only recall one Mac that was specifically targeted to the education market, and that was way too many years ago.

        2. What I’m saying is Apple RIGHT NOW has a unique opportunity to break the Windows strangle hold on the corporate desktop because of the current iPhones, iPads, Macs and macOS and the integration between them. Users would benefit tremendously. What is missing is a path to do so at a reasonable initial cost. What is required is an assessable box with a few “legacy” ports. The Mac mini is very close to what is needed. In a week, the engineers at Apple could come up with the Desktop Microsoft Killer— the DMKmac. Please do so. That’s all I’m asking.

        3. I’d like to see a rack mounted Mac server for a 10 to 100 person company that is a simple file, print, email, web server. For extra credit a CRM and HR server too.

          Oracle on a Mac server? Omg. 🙂

  2. Funny looking back how even MDN used the term ‘even Microsoft’. For a moment there I thought ‘even’ and then realised just how much things have changed since then to program that response, with that company no longer seen as a giant in technology as it was then and now just some increasingly insignificant sort of hanger on in the tech business for the most part or at best for them a back end cloud operation.

  3. “We Mac users have been telling the world for decades that Macs are less expensive in the long run due to reliability and security”

    Very true, but even after telling people and explaining TCO, they still go for the cheapest thing out there, and later regret it and wonder what the hell happened. I’ve seen it numerous times over and over, and just chuckle each time it happens.

    1. Summarizing what I’ve read on this topic: when a purchasing agent, or some other non-consumer, buys something for other people to use they tend to shop for bargains. When people buy for themselves they tend to invest more in quality.

      This was new thinking about why there was not a race to the bottom in the phone market as there was in the PC market. Purchasing agents bought cheap PCs for workers to bang away on, individuals buy quality iPhones for themselves.

      My wife doesn’t drink coffee. If we let her buy coffee for us we’d get some canned stuff for $4 a pound from the supermarket. Instead I buy whole beans for my son and I for ~$17 a pound at Peet’s.

    2. Please do me a favor and recommend for me the correct Mac on which to run Pro E. Or Solidworks. Or Ansys. Or Nastran. Or ADAMS. Or Matlab. Or pretty much any engineering, design, or analysis software at all. Apple is totally missing in action with workstations for industry at any price.

      Likewise education and servers, there is no Mac offered that is both capable and affordable.

      Apple does however make a half dozen laptop models perfectly designed for the well heeled fashionista who needs to look good at the coffe shop.

  4. This is a very interesting story. GE engineers don’t make this sort of decision casually. They don’t want the Delta experience where they have to reverse course in three years. They looked at the options and decided that iOS was the most prudent way forward for them. I wonder what promises they got from Apple about stability in coming years for a core set of features and APIs in iOS?

    Now that 32 bit apps have been purged that part is stable.

    I expect we’ll see more of this now that GE has taken the first step. Smaller companies will feel safe to take this step knowing that GE engineers have already done this analysis for them.

    I’m seeeing a few scientific instruments running on iPads now, rather than PCs.

  5. GE is still using WIndows and Red Hat LINUX for it’s Radiology line. Brand new Digital X-Ray room we got this year uses a Window Touchscreen for the Technologist’s Console. Digital RF room runs LINUX, for example.

    Years ago they all ran flavors of UNIX from IBM, SGI, SUN, DEC, Data General, etc. Now it’s all Windows 7 or newer.

      1. To be fair, Immelt’s predecessor, Neutron Jack Welch, had gutted most manufacturing assets and design centers from GE, rapidly pushing the once great industrial powerhouse into a largely financial and entertainment company with significant patent horse trading but rapidly declining market leadership across the board and near zero investment in future tech. Only after Welch left did people begin to realize how much Welch cooked the books. Here rode the 1990s bull market and outsourced hard. Immelt was left with empty cabinets that he has had a hard time restocking. Of course the business press praised Welch endlessly for posting great short term gains while he drove GE into the ground, killed dozens of factory towns, and slashed company morale.

        I predict that Welch did more long term damage than good, but of course American CEOs are rewarded for short term leadership. What products does GE design and build that could be described as world leading?

        All that said, I fail to see Apple making the investments in the Mac it needs to to be relevant in 10 to 20 years. Perhaps both elephants are taking their last waltz before following dying giants like IBM to be tossed into the dustbin.

      2. Apple is leaving money on the table not going after the Enterprise market. The Mac mini would make a great Thin Client and an enterprise version of iOS (no social media apps, etc) on a iPad Pro with USB I/O could be a monster in the commercial market.
        The touchscreen on the new GE Digital Radiography room is about the same size as my iPad Pro and it does not need to be3-4 inches thick.

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