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Apple, Verizon Join Hands To Encourage Enterprise Upgrade To 5G, iPhone 12

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Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Verizon Communications Inc (NYSE: VZ) introduced a program called “5G Fleet Swap” on Thursday — allowing enterprises to trade in their entire fleet of smartphones from Verizon or any other carrier and upgrade to any model in the iPhone 12 lineup at no upfront cost.

What Happened: The program makes it easier for companies to go all-in on 5G. Verizon also announced its first two major clients using the company’s indoor 5G ultra wideband services for enterprise customers — General Motors Company (NYSE: GM) and Honeywell International Inc (NYSE: HON).

Under the Fleet Swap program, the new iPhone 12 will carry a small monthly charge, except the iPhone 12 Mini, which will carry zero costs. The two projects are not private 5G networks.

Verizon was featured heavily at the iPhone 12 event, and its CEO Hans Vestberg spoke about the two companies’ partnership as a way to expand 5G millimeter-wave reach. Verizon Business Group CEO Tami Erwin told TechCrunch that 5G ultra-wideband fills the need for capacity and capability — and is built for industrial, commercial use cases.

Why It Matters: Verizon pitching 5G ultra wideband to enterprises on iPhone 12 is a signal of how both companies are approaching the adaptability of 5G. Focusing on business transformation as the primary use case for enterprises will not only help bring more enterprise customers to Verizon, it will also bring more iPhone 12 models into use by enterprises.

“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,” Erwin said.

Apple’s vice president of Markets, Apps, and Services, Susan Prescott, called the iPhone 12 lineup the best for business as it advances the 5G experience along with industry-leading security.

Price Action: Apple shares closed 0.52% higher at $118.64 and Verizon shares closed 0.20% lower at $60.21 on Thursday.

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