Do not expect to see Apple Computer break into the enterprise market any time soon, according to one analyst.
Despite a robust fourth quarter financial posting and the growing popularity of the Macintosh line, Gene Munster, a senior analyst at Minneapolis-based Piper Jaffray, wrote in his latest report that Apple is not making noticeable inroads into the enterprise market.
The report, released Nov. 2, asks 16 different questions of the Cupertino, Calif. maker of the Mac and iPod and tries to predict where the company, led by CEO Steve Jobs, will head in 2007.
In addition to its enterprise business, Munster also looks at other factors, such as the announcement of the iTV.
When Apple released its financial fourth quarter results on Oct. 18, it reported that it had sold a record 1.61 million Mac desktops and notebooks.
Several analysts, including Munster, have pointed to Apples switch to Intel processors and the availability of its Boot Camp software, which allows a Mac to run Microsofts Windows operating system, as the reason behind the resurgence.
At the same time, IDC, a research firm in Framingham, Mass., released a report that showed Apple has gained market share both in the United States during the third quarter—about 4.3 percent—and around the world—about 2.8 percent. A Garter survey showed similar gains.
Despite those facts, Munster writes that Apple, while pleased with its growth, continues to make slow gains in the enterprise space.
"Apple does not provide forward-looking product roadmaps, which are important to enterprise IT buyers and the company will not change its stance on this issue," Munster writes in the report.
Munster added that: "In sum, Apple will continue its focus on the consumer, education and creative professionals markets as they pursue market share gains."
Overall, Apples bet on Intel-based Macs seems to have paid off. Munster writes that the Intel processors, along with the Macs design, have helped with giving the PCs better performance and low power consumption.
As for Boot Camp, Munster writes that the software will help Apple gain users, who are considering an upgrade from Windows to Vista. Microsoft plans to launch its new operating system early in 2007.
During its quarterly financial report, Apple executives said that more than one million copies of the beta version of Boot Camp have been downloaded. That, combined with the fact that more than 50 percent of Mac buyers were new to Apple, leads Munster to believe Microsofts loss will be Apples gain.
"While Windows users contemplate upgrading software and/or hardware to run Vista, we believe Apple will continue market share gains via switchers," Munster writes.
Apple also plans to include Boot Camp in its new operating system, Leopard.
Munster writes that eventually, although he does not specify when, Apple will offer Boot Camp software that runs Vista as well as Windows.