Macs Landing on Corporate Desks, Led by iPhones and iPads

Monogram LRIn the past 5 years, Apple's push into the enterprise has been led by the iPhone and the iPad. Corporate IT departments, long dominated by the BlackBerry, are becoming more receptive to iOS products, especially when users are given the choice about which platform to use.

In addition to iOS driving up Apple's sales -- accounting for some two-thirds of Apple's revenue in fact -- iOS's corporate success is driving enterprise adoption of the Mac. The Wall Street Journal writes of Apple's growing success in getting the Mac onto the desks of corporate employees. GE has more than 1,000 Mac users under a year-long pilot project that allows employees to choose to use Macs instead of PC's, without any significant knowledge of the program inside GE. The company has 330,000 computers, the vast majority running Windows.

GE started offering its employees the iPhone as an alternative to BlackBerrys in 2008. Now, it says about 10,000 GE employees carry the Apple smartphone, compared with 50,000 using BlackBerrys.

The Fairfield, Conn., conglomerate hasn't trumpeted the Apple option for computers and laptops internally, and as a result employee awareness is limited.

But staffers across GE businesses are eligible as long as there aren't security clearance issues, such as devices for defense work, or big compatibility problems with needed software.

"All businesses are participating at some level in making this [option] available to their employees," said Greg Simpson, GE's chief technology officer.

"To find out that we support Apple, we support iPhones, we support Macs, it does take away one question for people, 'Are they a contemporary company or not?'" Mr. Simpson said. "I think that is a recruiting-positive thing."

Forrester Research estimates that Apple will sell $9 billion in Macs and $10 billion in iPads to corporations this year, up 50% from 2011. Forrester anticipates spending on PCs and tablets made by other companies will decline by 3% to $69 billion.

Top Rated Comments

samcraig Avatar
120 months ago
Even more so now that we are in the "post pc era." Mac+iOS play better
No one (today) is living in a post PC era. That's marketing speak and is convoluted at best.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
notjustjay Avatar
120 months ago
Why would any corporation choose to use iMacs? Apple does not offer corporate friendly desktop designs. More importantly, corporate hate to be dependent on a single supplier (and as far as I know nobody but Apple sells iMacs). Add to this OS/X being a consumer-oriented OS with no enterprise features to speak off, lack of roadmap, unserviceable designs and it's clear that any increase in iMac sales is a result of iOS halo effect that won't last.

Hey, I have an idea. What if Apple made servers...
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rnizlek Avatar
120 months ago
who said that windows is best for corporate use? Hah, and if they switched it means that they tried windows but switched to mac

I definitely don't feel that "windows is best for corporate use," however, Apple's enterprise management tools are really lacking on the server side. While I've been a Mac guy for years, Windows server beats Mac OS server hands down, having worked with both (for medium to large businesses, that is - on the small business side, Apple has some pretty good solutions). I hope that over the long run Apple starts to reinvest in the back-end of things, because I think they'd be able to do a lot of really innovative stuff. But even if they don't, that doesn't mean that Macs don't have a place on employees' desks.

One feature I would LOVE to see in Mac OS X, though, is some form of Remote Desktop Connection Protocol. Apple Remote Desktop just doesn't cut it for remote access - it's laggy and a bandwidth hog, being based on VNC. Connecting to Windows PCs remotely is a breeze and a very pleasurable experience, whereas doing remote connections to Macs is really frustrating. This is really one "must have" feature for business use going forward, at least where I work.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
alent1234 Avatar
120 months ago
NASA recently allowed people to chose their platform. Macs are blowing up all over the place now, they are having a hard time keeping up with demand.
if my employer offered to buy me a $2000 MBP compared to a cheapo $500 laptop i'd be all over it as well. mostly for bragging rights

when BB's first came out it was the same way, everyone wanted one and it was a status thing. same with laptops. now it's apple stuff
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rnizlek Avatar
120 months ago
Why would any corporation choose to use iMacs? Apple does not offer corporate friendly desktop designs. More importantly, corporate hate to be dependent on a single supplier (and as far as I know nobody but Apple sells iMacs). Add to this OS/X being a consumer-oriented OS with no enterprise features to speak off, lack of roadmap, unserviceable designs and it's clear that any increase in iMac sales is a result of iOS halo effect that won't last.

How is the Mac Mini not a "corporate friendly desktop design?" Everyone who walks into my office at work (which is probably 95% Windows and 5% Macs) loves my Mac Mini and wants one - purely for the space they save on desks. As an IT administrator, I've found Mac Minis ideal for deployment in a business environment.

And giving employees the choice to use Mac isn't "being dependent on a single supplier" as many employees will also choose to use PCs. Becoming an all-Mac shop presents issues, but that's not what any of these companies are doing, nor should they. In my opinion, the best computer for business use is the one that an employee feels they are most productive using.

As per my above post, though, I do agree that some business oriented features are sorely lacking from Mac OS.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
samcraig Avatar
120 months ago
Amazing what happens when workers actually get to *choose* what they want to enjoy and be productive with, rather than having IT drones foist something on them.

Amazing? No. Not at all. It's pretty boring and par for the course.

Given what using a Mac is like, that should be sufficient, at least in the interim.

You clearly aren't in IT. As "easy" as Mac computers are - they still require support - both for the machine and for the user. Any person that states otherwise is living in fantasyland.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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