Macs Landing on Corporate Desks, Led by iPhones and iPads
In 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.