iphone XS

Brown’s Bytes – You Gotta Say Yes to Another XS!

Welcome to Brown’s Bytes! Your weekly insight from Mobliciti’s CTO Andy Brown. Follow #brownsbytes

14th September 2018

Not sure if any of the regular readers noticed it, but Apple launched a few phones this week…

It’s always interesting to see what was rumoured/leaked vs what was announced and I have to say that there were really a few surprises in the end.

For those living under a rock we’ve got a range of new smartphones to slot into the Apple range:

– The iPhone XS
– The iPhone XS Max
– The iPhone XR

So, which of these devices are we likely to see in the Enterprise and why?

First thing we really need to look at is the pricing. As you’d expect, the XS and XS Max continue the pricing model started by the iPhone X last year. They’re at or above the £1000 mark.

Experience with the iPhone X suggests that the XS and XS Max will therefore be considered “Premium” devices in the Enterprise. This means they will likely remain a device for select individuals rather than being the default fleet device of choice.

To date, companies have tended to look at the lower end of the Apple range for the fleet smartphone. In fact, I did a piece earlier in the year looking at the iPhone SE (and its possible replacement) precisely because of this. At the time I pondered whether a replacement for the SE could be coming…

For the Enterprise I therefore thought the more interesting device would be the iPhone XR. It is a fascinating combination of new features and styling with a touch of the iPhone 5c thrown in for good measure. There is sufficient memory for Enterprise use as well, even at the minimum memory capacity of 64GB, so I’d say it could be very interesting (although likely in the more sombre colour options for Enterprise!)

Up until I saw the price I was really thinking the XR could be a star in the Enterprise market as the replacement to the iPhone SE. However, as is often the case with Apple kit, the big question is again unfortunately the price. Depending on memory size the XR costs between £749 and £899. It is considerably more than the outgoing SE (and FYI that has been dropped, quietly). It clearly offers more than the SE, but most Enterprises are just not buying a fleet of devices at £749 each. Even £500 is considered pretty expensive – when you multiply any price increase by a large number of units then the budget gets questioned very quickly!

So, where does the budget conscious Enterprise Admin look now?

There are two obvious options I can see, if you’re in the market for a sub £500 iPhone going forward:

1. The new “Entry Level” iPhone is going to be a former flagship device. How about an iPhone 7 at £449… it never set the world on fire when it was launched, but it’s a solid device. Maybe perfect for a fleet.

2. Stop looking purely at the purchase price and have a chat with us about device leasing instead. Apple devices have amazing residual values after two years… factor this in and you can start looking further up the range!

In summary the XS and XS Max are more of the same, based on the X last year (no surprise). I’m sure they’ll continue to do amazingly well in the consumer market, but I suspect will be niche in Enterprise.

What is intriguing for me is to see where the XR now slots into the market. I will happily admit I was wrong to question charging £1000 for a phone last year… let’s see how the XR fares.

If you want to discuss phone strategy or leasing options, then please do get in touch.

P.S. Give yourself a pat on the back if you understood the reference in the title without Googling it!