Analyst: Apple Macintosh will always be a niche player

“Apple has released a beta of software that will allow its new Intel-based Macintosh desktops and laptops to run Microsoft’s Windows XP OS natively, as well as Mac OS X. While Apple has said it’s not making a play for the enterprise desktop market, analysts said the move will find appeal in already-Mac-friendly corporate niches,” Jeff Jedras reports for Computer World Canada.

Jedras reports, “Carmi Levy, a senior research analyst with London, Ont.-based Info-Tech Research Group, said Microsoft has nothing to fear from Boot Camp, particularly in the enterprise market. ‘The reality is, long term, Apple will always be a niche player,’ said Levy. ‘Even with the switch to Intel, Apple is not threatening the hegemony of the Intel-based Windows PC.’ However, Levy said Apple’s traditional enterprise niches have been weakening in recent years.”

MacDailyNews Take: “Always” is too strong a word for us to take seriously. Things can change very rapidly, although we do agree that enterprise will be last ones to the party as “IT Guy” will resist change for as long as humanly possible. That’s okay, we’ll wait for them to retire, get fired, die off, whatever.

Jedras continues, “These include graphics, advertising and creative departments, he said. The Windows alternatives have gained maturity and IT managers have been pushing for greater standardization. With Boot Camp, Levy said these niches can still have their Macs and IT can support them more easily.”

Jedras reports, “While support will be simpler, Levy said enterprises aren’t going to swap their PCs for Macs in large numbers. Where there will be wins, though, he said, is in small and medium-sized businesses, where firms have less of an investment in Windows machines, and where, with less support resources, they’re more sensitive to some of the security issues around PCs vs. Macs. ‘[SMBs] might be more predisposed to looking at Apple architecture on the desktop and being a little more comfortable moving lock, stock and barrel over to it,’ said Levy.”

Jedras reports, “Info-Tech’s Levy said the data centre is almost like a different world from the desktop, and in the server and storage space, Apple’s offerings have been very well received. ‘Even if the numbers aren’t there, the respect is certainly there, and they’ve built a bit of a beachhead for further penetration into the data centre,’ said Levy. ‘The challenge for Apple is to convince IT administrators that they are a viable option for data centre deployment.'”

Full article here.

Information about Macs and Business: http://www.apple.com/macatwork/

MacDailyNews Take: As we have always said, even as many short-sightedly waved (and continue to wave) the white flag, the war is not over. And, yes, we shall prevail. For the naysayers we trot out our favorite example once again: In 1929, Ford held just over 61% of the U.S. market for automobiles. GM’s market share stood at just 12%. Ford was thought to be invincible, with GM regarded as a niche auto maker. Probably, some analyst at the time said, “The reality is, long term, GM will always be a niche player.” But, in 1936, just seven years later, Ford held just 22% of the market for new automobiles while General Motors held a 43% share. No company is invincible. Not even Microsoft.

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50 Comments

  1. Even non-computer savvy people regard Microsoft as a joke. I have spoken to atleast three people in the last three months who are switching back to Mac (and these are consumers, not corporate customers or IT professionals).

    The reality is that the IT industry is a big ship and it will have a slow turn but Apple has created iLife as a way to differentiate themselves. Apple doesn’t want to fight the corporate desktop war…they are going for the home/college user in the hopes that the IT decision makers will come home to a Mac and one day will want that same ease of use in their businesses too.

  2. Is the iPod a “niche player”? Enough said

    I don’t want every dick and jane to have a Mac anyway, it’s my PRECIOUS

    Let the rest of the world suffer with Windows.

    My computing life has been a 1000x times better on a Mac.

  3. I want Apple to be a niche player, too …. but I would like it to be a big enough niche, and a solid enough niche, and a sure enough niche that we will continue to get software developers to write for it and we won’t run the risk of it vanishing … like it nearly did back in the 1990s.

    I would like to see the Mac OS platform make it up to about 20% of the installed market … maybe even 25%. A quarter sounds like a decent group. Not so much that we’re the “majority,” but enough that we have to be contended with as a viable alternative.

    As for IT guys … screw ’em. A good IT guy is an out of work IT guy.

  4. The consumer market represents 70% of computers sold. Levy’s small to medium-sized businesses account for another 10%.

    So if Apple garners 60% of the consumer market (highly achieveable) and 50% of the small business market, they would have 47% of the overall market. With Linux creeping up to 10%, that would leave Microsoft at 45%.

    Now whose the niche player?

  5. There is no need for Apple to supercede MS as the new pc monopolist. It ‘only’ needs a profitable niche market share, a rich collection of quality applications – and their developers, and the ability to tap in and relate with the rest of the world who know no better than to continue with the bad option…

    Like most Mac users, I suspect we’re happier being one of the 15% rather than one of the 85%.

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