Macs are up to $543 cheaper than Windows PCs, says IBM

For years people have looked at the sticker price of Macs, compared them to the sticker price of Windows PCs made with lesser components, and sneered about the "Apple Tax". What sticker price sneerers never took into account, though, were the additional benefits that came with the Mac: Free software, lower support costs, AppleCare support, higher resale value, and the list goes on.

IBM, given their scale, can't just worry about sticker price. They have to worry about total cost of ownership (TCO). So, after making Mac an option in their enterprise, what have they found?

According to JAMF:

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.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.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.

Only 3.5% of Mac users are calling the help desk vs. 25% of PC users. That's tremendous.

Back when I worked as a designer in enterprise, I got a new high-end Dell laptop every year, complete with on-site service. It broke down regularly, the chassis cracked, and the last one, which ran Vista, booted up saying there were no drivers to support the graphics card it shipped with.

Eventually, the IT department told me to "just get a Mac". I did. A MacBook Pro. It lasted me three years and then went to someone else and lasted three more, and in that time zero support calls were needed.

That's anecdotal, of course, but IBM is data. And it's something everyone should consider before buying their next computer.

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.