Apple, Verizon announce ‘5G Fleet Swap’ program for enterprise

Apple and Verizon on Thursday announced a new “fleet swap” program that will allow enterprise customers to swap existing devices with 5G-compatible iPhone models.

The program, which the two companies say is “first-of-its-kind,” will allow business customers to trade their entire fleet of existing smartphones with any model in the iPhone 12 lineup, including either iPhone 12 Pro model.

According to Verizon and Apple, enterprise customers will be able to upgrade “for zero upfront cost, with zero to low cost per month” payments.

“Paired with Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband going indoors and 5G Fleet Swap, an all-new device offer for enterprise, it’s now easier than ever for businesses to build transformational mobile apps that take advantage of the powerful iPhone 12 lineup and 5G,” said Susan Prescott, Apple VP of Markets, App, and Services.

The two companies also gave examples of how business customers can use existing apps to unlock “new experiences.” That includes using IBM Maximo Visual Inspection to monitor production lines; leveraging JigSpace to provide AR access to technical documentation; and using Osirix HD to bring high-resolution radiology images to clinicians.

“No matter where you are on your digital transformation journey, the ability to put the power of 5G Ultra Wideband in all of your employees’ hands right now with a powerful iPhone 12 model, the best smartphone for business, is not just an investment for growth, it’s what will set a business’s future trajectory as technology continues to advance,” said Verizon Business CEO Tami Erwin.

During Apple’s Oct. 13 launch event, Verizon was prominently featured. And, in fact, some iPhone models actually cost slightly more without Verizon or AT&T carrier subsidies. The enterprise program announced on Thursday is just carrying on that partnership.

Apple’s iPhone 12 lineup supports 5G across the board, with models in the U.S. shipping with both sub-6GHz and faster mmWave 5G compatibility. Devices in other countries are compatible with 5G networks, though only sub-6GHz ones.

In addition to the 5G Fleet Swap program, Verizon also announced that General Motors and Honeywell will be among the first business customers to install 5G Ultra Wideband service inside their corporate offices.

The carrier says that its indoor 5G infrastructure is a “critical step” in deliver commercial private 5G solutions. Among other benefits, private 5G will “eventually offer the scalability to manage massive numbers of devices along with advanced capabilities such as Edge AI, computer vision and other emerging technologies.”

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