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    Apple makes a new play for small businesses, taking on Google and Microsoft – CNBC

    Customers select mobile phones at an Apple store at the Mixhui Shopping mall in Yantai, East China’s Shandong Province, Sept 29, 2021.

    Tang Ke | Costfoto | Barcroft Media | Getty Images

    Apple announced Wednesday it’s launching a business tools service for companies with up to 500 employees as companies look for new ways to handle remote work and technology.

    The service, which is currently in beta testing, is slated for a full release in spring 2022. Subscriptions begin at $2.99 a month. It’s similar to offerings from Apple rivals who are more established in providing tools to businesses and schools, such as Google and Microsoft. Those two companies dominate the education and business services markets.

    Formally known as Apple Business Essentials, the service includes 24/7 Apple support and iCloud storage. It can assist businesses with everything from device setup to employee onboarding and accompanies an app that allows employees to install work applications.

    The subscription service offers a three-tiered price plan, customizable to accommodate three devices at most and up to 2 terabytes of iCloud storage. Costs per user range between $2.99 and $12.99 a month.

    The announcement also ties into Apple’s push to sell more digital services to its customers, such as streaming video and music subscriptions.

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