Analyst: Apple knows how to win the next big battle

“Way back when, I used to work in technical architecture and support at a Fortune 10 company. We were unusual since we were a pretty big Apple shop, something you didn’t see a lot of in business and certainly not in a company our size. Apple in the mid-90s had no idea how to deal with a customer like myself. They never quite understood that I could buy 1,000 high end Quadra 800s with a stroke of my pen as easily as a single consumer bought a color Classic or Performa. In fact, they treated me pretty much the same way. Dealing with Microsoft was totally different. They understood the business market well and made it easy for folks like me to deal with them. In the 21st century, the battle lines are different and the next big battle isn’t for the boardroom but the living room. Machines there are bought one at a time. Apple knows how to sell to the consumer. Microsoft knows how to sell to businesses who buy a thousand PCs at a time. They don’t yet know how to sell to a consumer who buys one at a time,” Michael Gartenberg, VP & Research Director, JupiterResearch, writes on his weblog.

More posts by Gartenberg here.

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Related articles:
Apple’s in the best position to lead Americans into digital living room – January 24, 2006
Microsoft aims to beat Apple in race to living room; an opportunity bigger than Windows – January 24, 2006
Apple, Intel, Microsoft plan living room assault in 2006 – December 16, 2005
iPod accessories now surpass $300 million annually as iPod paves Apple’s path into living room – December 12, 2005
RUMOR: Apple to employ Intel’s ‘Robson’ NAND flash tech to create ‘instant-on’ Macs – November 22, 2005
NY Times’ Pogue: Apple’s iMac G5 with sleek, virus-free, spyware-free OS earns place in living room – October 19, 2005
Apple’s shift to Intel really all about Hollywood, owning the living room, and Transitive – June 05, 2005
Apple and Microsoft battle for control of future living rooms – June 01, 2005
Apple Computer will own the living room, not Microsoft – January 10, 2005
Can Apple crack the living-room conundrum before Microsoft? – December 30, 2004
NY Times: Can Steve Jobs put Apple in the center of your living room? – March 22, 2004


  1. Apple’s sales tactic is from the top down

    Create a whiz bang product and people will eat it up/cult motivation.

    PC makers do it the opposite, they take their cheap garbage and direct sell it using salespeople to go after the purchasers.

    It’s easier to sell cheap garbage, there’s more profit and the salesperson gets their cut.

    After Steve took over again, a lot of Apple’s sales reps were axed.

  2. The article sounds about right.

    By the way, Andy, Microsoft has produced a cheap PC, and they are currently selling it in a test market offshore.

    Offhand, I don’t recall the country, just know that it is happening.

  3. TheConfused1

    The country you are referring to is Brazil. MS had to do that because it is a huge market and it is a direct response to a government’s initiative to have a pc in every home with Linux.

  4. Until Apple comes up with something that can compete with Exchange Server & Active Directory, they will not make any major strides in the data center. Linux is a free download in most cases, and its presence is still usuallly in the corner for specific functions, (DNS, Firewall, etc.) Are there actually any Fortune 500 companies that have deployed OS X Server as directory and mail servers for an enterprise? At least from the Apple discussion forums, I’ve never heard of an OS X mail server hosting 2000+ mailboxes. Happens all the time with Exchange. Throw in the new Exchange 12/Office 12 beta which includes the “Groove” collaboration suite and direct support for pushing email to mobile phones, and Apple’s looking pretty sad in comparison.

    On the other hand, Apple is targeting the consumers well with iLife, etc. Unfortunately, those apps are irrelevant and distracting programs for most businesses.

  5. Devnull

    You are on the money. I agree. I don’t think Apple has all the ducks in a row needed to make strides in Fort. 500 companies. I also don’t believe is an area of focus for the company. Apple is concentrating in content delivery, creative professionals, the consumer desktop, and the living room.

    To that add the billions of dollars that companies have invested in customized apps for Windows and it becomes a huge hurdle for Apple. Apple will need to support Windows in some fashion if it ever wants to get in the large corporate accounts.

  6. Hello! Apple obviously uses Macs in an entriprise environment with “2000 mailboxes.” I think any company in the Fortune 500 would like their stock performance over the last year.

    Also, Macs are ideal for small businesses that can’t afford an IT staff to make their technology work. Both my parents companies use Macs.

    But at the end of the day, who cares!It is all about consumer electronics these days. Computers have busted out of the office environment long ago.

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