From iPhone to Macs: Apple Appeals to Businesses Without Even Trying

NEWS ANALYSIS: Apple is more appealing to the enterprise than ever. And yet, despite the developments around the iPhone and the Mac in the past few years, Apple has not done much to make that happen.

Apple, the company that was started by two Steves in a garage, has grown into one of the most successful companies in the tech industry. From the iPod to the iPhone to the Mac, Apple offers several products that make it an ideal choice for consumers. But a recent study suggests that Apple is winning customers in the corporate world too.

According to ChangeWave Research, more companies plan to add new computers to their operations during the next quarter. Nine percent of those buying new computers plan to buy MacBook Pros for employees, while 7 percent of respondents said they plan to buy desktop Macs. If those figures hold up, Apple could capture its stated goal of 8 to 10 percent market share in the enterprise.

It's no small feat -- especially for a company that has never really cared about the business world.

Apple's history
Since the release of the Macintosh more than 25 years ago, Apple's relationship with the enterprise has been practically non-existent. Although it has consistently released Macs that are powerful and appealing to the business world, its policy of closed-down operating systems isn't conducive to building a strong enterprise relationship.

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Business customers have strict requirements for software makers. They expect security patches to be updated in a timely fashion. They want companies that offer operating systems to form strong, lasting relations with third-party developers to ensure all the applications they need will be built for the platform. And they expect all hardware accessories and dongles to work with the OS.

Admittedly, it's a tall order. Microsoft's Windows platform is bloated today because of its desire to appeal to the enterprise. But Apple's policy since the beginning has been one that's marked by doing things its own way. Apple doesn't release security patches when it should. It's not concerned about building strong relationships with third parties. In essence, Apple believes that the core of its business strategy is to control all aspects of its operating system. It has helped keep the operating system slightly more secure, but it has also created a situation where the enterprise doesn't quite trust that Apple will provide the experience it's looking for.

I don't think Apple cares. The company has never catered to the enterprise. It has sold products to the enterprise. For the most part, it has always maintained a strategy that stays true to its core business -- hardware sales to consumers.

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger is a longtime freelance contributor to several technology and business publications. Over his career, Don has written about everything from geek-friendly gadgetry to issues of privacy...