IBM: Macs cost less than PCs

  • October 27, 2016
  • Scott

Just in time for new Macs to be announced on the 27th… It’s always a pleasure to see two favorite topics combine: Apple and IBM!  IBM has again confirmed what many of us who use Macs already knew – Macs cost less than PCs to own, maintain, and re-use

The anecdotal evidence is there:

  • Every Intel Mac I have ever owned, since 2007, is still functioning. 
  • Only the 2007 Mac has had significant repair work:  a replaced video board, and a new keyboard. 
  • At work, we’re able to support our whole company with minimal personal IT help.  It is self-help.
  • I never worry about printer drivers or connecting to the network, or blue screen of death.

But IBM provides the statistics from a massive roll-out. It is rare that you can provide something employees want, and save money at the same time:

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.

And the cost savings?

But isn’t it expensive, and doesn’t it overload IT? No. IBM found that not only do PCs drive twice the amount of support calls, they’re also three times more expensive. 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.

I’ll say. And if you’ve ever used a 4-year old PC, you know how fun that is.  But a 4-year old Mac, if it started with good RAM allocation, is really not much of an issue. To me, this is process improvement at its finest – because the reason the Mac is less expensive is only partly the rig, it is mostly the complexity of the processes needed to support it… or rather, the simplicity of the processes that support it.




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  • Ranieri Mazili

    Unfortunately this rule isn’t true for Brazil, here macs costs 3x the price of a normal pc. I don’t think IBM will give this choice for their brazilian employees soon.

    • If you strip out import taxes in Brazil, Macs are cheaper. Unfortunately Brazil’s import taxes on electronics are quite high, which pushes up the prices. PCs have been manufactured locally precisely to avoid those taxes.