How Apple played hard to get and seduced the enterprise

Chris Nerney reports for NetworkWorld, “Speaking at Apple’s quarterly earnings conference call in January, acting CEO Tim Cook said, ‘The iPad started shipping in April, and we are already up to 80% of the largest companies deploying or piloting the product. This is unheard of, at least in my dealings with the enterprise over the years. Generally enterprises are much slower, much more cautious and use things that have been in the market for a long time.'”

MacDailyNews Note: Tim Cook is not Apple’s “acting CEO.” Cook remains Apple’s COO and is “responsible for all of Apple’s day to day operations” while CEO Steve Jobs is on a medical leave of absence. Jobs continues as Apple’s CEO and is involved in major strategic decisions for the company.

Nerney continues, “Data from Good Technology bears out this trend. In a study released in January, Good reported that among its thousands of corporate and government customers – including more than 40 of the Fortune 100 – nearly two-thirds of net new activations in the fourth quarter were for mobile devices running on Apple’s iOS. The financial and healthcare industries in particular are rapidly adopting Apple’s tablet computer, according to the survey.”

“Chris Hazelton, mobile and wireless research director for The 451 Group in Boston, says three things are driving iPad’s adoption in the enterprise: the increasing number of APIs from mobile device management vendors, the fact that Apple included application-level encryption in iOS 4, and Apple’s Developer Enterprise Program, which (for $299 a year) allows companies to build their own ‘proprietary, non-public applications that can be pushed out to their employees and managed by MDM vendors,'” Nerney reports. “All of which leaves Apple in a position to do something it hasn’t been able or willing to do in 30 years – sell to corporate America.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Since 1984, Apple has sold tens of millions of Macs to corporate America.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

13 Comments

  1. …”Since 1984, Apple has sold tens of millions of Macs to corporate America.”

    I would probably say, corporate America bought tens of millions of Macs from Apple, since Apple surely never made a real effort to sell those Macs to them. I don’t think anyone will seriously argue that Apple ever made any effort to cultivate and grow enterprise sales. Us, Mac users, can only be grateful to Apple for that, as corporate market share presents a massive anchor which severely hobbles innovation. Apple turned on a dime and migrated between mutually incompatible software and hardware several times over the past 15 years (68k to PPC; PPC to Intel; System 9 to OS X), which would be corporate suicide, had they had a significant enterprise market share. In fact, 68k to PPC migration almost killed them, when many software vendors dragged their feet with optimised PPC versions.

    1. But wouldn’t Apple having a corporate presence move Macs from “toy” to “business” status? Apple devices are always being called “toys”. I always thought that “toy” status was always the reason that Wall Street held Apple in such low regard. I know that there are corporations finally adapting Apple devices into their general usage, but I’m willing to bet it’s only a very small percentage and that’s only because employees are bringing in their own personal Apple devices. Probably very few companies are actively purchasing Macs, iPhones or iPads on their own like they would have bought Dell computers or BlackBerrys.

      I agree that Apple is getting some corporate presence but it really isn’t impressing investors enough to buy Apple stock. Apple’s corporate presence isn’t large enough yet.

      1. I don’t think anyone in the Enterprise considers the iPad a “toy”. Given the broad acceptance of the device in that realm, I’d say it’s considered a “game changer”.

        I stayed at a hotel last month. The Concierge was using an iPad. He said it helped him immensely with keeping track of his daily flow and hotel guests needs.

      2. I don’t understand the assumption that selling hardware to business is a good thing. Why would Apple want to sell computers to business? Business machines are typically lower margin, stripped down, no frills, boring machines, Business people who buy a significant number of units from you tend to want to dictate what features you add, what features need to be locked down or eliminated in the name of efficiency, and they generally want a discount.

        The machine on my desk right now has minimal graphics capability, and half the memory and HD space of my MacBook Pro. Our CFO and CIO refuse to pay for anything beyond what will minimally get the job done. Catering to “enterprise” is what got Dell and Microsoft where they are now.

        If “enterprise” wants to use Apple hardware and software that’s fine with me, but Apple should not cater to them. I don’t want Apple’s future and the design of its hardware and software dictated by a bunch of MBA’s.

    2. To be completely honest, I doubt corporate America has bought “tens of millions of Macs”. Just think about that. Tens, means more than a single ten, so at the minimum it would mean 20M Macs. Given 26 years since ’84, that would mean probably 1M Macs sold to corporate America a year.

      If we assume about 10% of total Macs sold are to corporate America, then Apple would have to average over 10M Macs a year. They’ve only done that in the last 3 years. It wasn’t all that long ago when I would get excited that Apple had sold 800k Macs in a quarter. Apple is doing great, and I have been an investor for years, since I bought my first of many Macs in 1987, but let’s not pull stats out of thin air.

  2. “proprietary, non-public applications that can be pushed out to their employees and managed by MDM vendors.”

    What’s an MDM vendor? We’d like to do a lot of this, but sometimes we’re nowhere near the Internets (geophysics research) and if we have to reload an iPod touch/iPad in the field… iTunes, AppleIDs, the Internet and credit cards are the roadblocks.

  3. “Apple devices are always being called “toys”. I always thought that “toy” status was always the reason that Wall Street held Apple in such low regard.”
    Is this coming to us through a time portal, from 1998?

    “I agree that Apple is getting some corporate presence but it really isn’t impressing investors enough to buy Apple stock.”
    Duhhh – whut!? No action no the stock? 1998? 2002? Stock doesn’t rise to nearly SIXTY times its value over a decade unless people increasingly want it and increasingly buy it.

  4. When I worked for Bellcore nearly half our computers were Macs even though the standard operating environment was IBM. This all changes when Bellcore brought in a VP from IBM and he got rid of all the Macs. Since I was retired by that time the short sightedness did not bother me.

  5. When Apple moves to LiquidMetal from Aluminum there is an opportunity to corporatize Macs iP*ds with corporate livery by ditching the apple logo and replacing it with the corporation’s.
    It would be the last nail in windows coffin!
    AND Macs that don’t look like Macs but the profits would be enormous – 100% mark up!

  6. I’ve been using a mac in business for some time, but it does have it’s drawbacks. I swear that the decision makers at Apple don’t use their own products. The task manager sucks. Integrating calendar with gmail only works occasionally. I can’t say how many meeting notifications went missing. Yes, one could blame it on google or someone else, but the point is if you want your product to be used seamlessly in business, eliminate the roadblocks.

    The way macs get into the corporate world is through small businesses getting bigger. You’re not going to see someone like Toyota decide overnight to use only macs. Point being that small businesses don’t have exchange server or ical server, etc. They use, like me, cloud services like gmail and it has to work flawlessly on their platform no matter who’s fault it is.

  7. “Speaking at Apple’s quarterly earnings conference call in January, acting CEO Tim Cook said”

    Does Chris know something unofficial? Or is it just regular ignorance?

    He might have unconsciously spilled some beans. You never know.

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