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Businesses Desktops (Apple) Stats Apple IT

Corporate Mac Sales Surge 66% 494

syngularyx writes "Mac sales in the enterprise during Apple's last fiscal quarter grew a whopping 66 percent, significantly outpacing the rest of the PC market, which grew just 4.5 percent in the enterprise. The data from Apple's previous fiscal quarter was highlighted on Friday by analyst Charlie Wolf with Needham & Company. He said though he originally viewed success in the enterprise as a "one-quarter blip," it now appears to be a "durable platform" for Apple." What makes this especially interesting is that Apple apparently isn't looking for corporate sales, and considers them "collateral success" rather than an indication that they should market specifically to corporate buyers.
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Corporate Mac Sales Surge 66%

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  • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Monday May 23, 2011 @08:42AM (#36216154) Journal
    You mean that there are now three businesses using Macs? Amazing!
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 23, 2011 @08:47AM (#36216190)

      No dummy.

      Obviously the growth from 2 to 3 Macs would be an increase of 50%.

      The only logical answer is Apple sold 5 Macs to business as opposed to 3 last quarter.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by wisty ( 1335733 )

        Nah. It's just a few more "freelancers", who hope you can do a couple of jobs off elance, and then get a sweet tax deduction for your "business" computer.

      • Damn beat me to this by a !nternet month (and hour)

      • We've got them at work. I think the main reason is that they run Unix. Having a hip cool laptop back when a lot of founding employees were younger was a bonus. Over time though a lot of drawbacks appear. They're expensive, they're expensive to support (seriously, IT can't even install new hard disks, and newer models don't even have replaceable batteries), they've had hardware problems, there are full disk encryption headaches, and the IT staff has fewer people who understand something other than window

    • by Richard_at_work ( 517087 ) <richardprice@gm a i l . com> on Monday May 23, 2011 @08:54AM (#36216268)

      Heh, its ironic - I'm currently sat in an office where all the computers (a dozen or so) are Macs - iMac 27" to be precise.

      The irony is that they are all running Windows 7, not one is running OSX. Business owner bought them because they looked cool, but the business is a .Net software development house.

      • The irony is that they are all running Windows 7, not one is running OSX. Business owner bought them because they looked cool, but the business is a .Net software development house.

        Apple doesn't mind. Do the developers mind?

      • Ive heard the sentiment "but the hardware is better". I usually explain that there isnt any fairy dust that they sprinkle on the Seagate drives (Dell uses Seagate as well), Foxconn motherboards (again, dell uses foxconn), Hynix RAM, nVidia Graphics, or Intel processor to make it more durable; so if theres any "durable" theyre paying for, its for a really really nice, $1500 case.

        • Well, with the newest iMacs, there is in fact magic fairy dust sprinkled on the hard drives: They have a custom power connector and firmware that also handles temperature sensor reporting to the SMU. If you swap the drive for another(even one of the same model; but without the Apple blessing) the system goes into full thermal freakout mode.
      • by Phurge ( 1112105 )
        I worked at a managed services business last year - they were an MS partner / reseller. All their solutions were MS based. So what did their senior execs use? - Powerbooks running windows of course.

        I hazard to guess for the same reason - they looked cool and matched their iphones....
  • by Chas ( 5144 ) on Monday May 23, 2011 @08:48AM (#36216196) Homepage Journal

    Translation: Hope these businesses don't want actual enterprise support from Apple. Rude awakenings to ensue.

    • As if there were no rude awakenings to ensue when trying to get "enterprise support" from Dell, Microsoft, and Symantec.

      Enterprise support is a joke. If you don't have an IT staff capable of supporting the hardware and software you're buying... you're doing it wrong.

      • by drolli ( 522659 )

        Yes and no. If your capable it staff figured out that something specific which is needed and should work really does not work and that it is a problem of the preinstalled software/hardware then it if a difference if you are put trough to the "did you check it is plugged in" customer phone support, which will file a case which will rot in the depths of their database unless 10000 other customers have the same problem, or if you actually have a support contract.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        I've had no problems getting same day engineer callouts to replace parts in enterprise systems from Dell - the difference is, Dell offers enterprise orientated options, Apple does not. And the Dell systems weren't expensive in comparison either.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Obviously, this person has never actually worked in a corporation before. We get excellent support from both Dell and Microsoft. Can't speak to Symantec. If a piece of Dell hardware requires replacement, a simple email to them results in the replacement part arriving the next day via Fedex. If a Mac has a problem, the answer is "take it to your closest Apple Store".
      • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Monday May 23, 2011 @09:32AM (#36216648) Journal

        Here's an example of the different levels of support that we got from Apple and from Dell when a machine failed in the university lab where I used to work:

        Dell sent out a technician to fix it. He brought spare parts with him, and fixed it on the spot. We weren't paying for an expensive support contract - just the standard support Dell gives to large customers - so it sometimes took a day or two before they sent someone out. The machine was out of action for a day or two, and a technician had to spend about 10 minutes on the phone to get it repaired.

        Apple kept us on hold or about half an hour, before telling us that we had to take the machine to the nearest Apple Authorised Reseller. The nearest one to Swansea was in Cardiff, which is about an hour and a half's drive away (city centre to city centre), plus a little walk at each end since you couldn't park near the shop in Cardiff. The would then send it to their repair centre, who would take up to three weeks to fix it. Once it was fixed, it had to be collected from there. Machine was out of action for three weeks, and it effectively took an entire day of technician time (two round trips to another city with the machine) to get it fixed.

        Somewhat strangely, Mac owned by individuals bought through the Higher Education store got much better support. They sent out a box the next day, you put the broken machine in it, and a day or two later it returned working (normally - I had one experience where it took them a month to admit that they'd lost it, then two attempts to send me a working replacement). For some parts, they send the replacement out, and you put the old one in the box and send it back with the courier when it arrives.

        • For what you pay Apple for a three year support contract which requires you to send the machine in or bring it in, you get onsite service for the same period from pretty much any other vendor. I live on a one-lane road in the back of beyond and HP sent a technician to work on my laptop even though I'm three hours away from the place from which they sent him. Of course, he did actually manage to break the laptop further, but Apple is capable of doing the same thing and I should probably thank him because I ended up getting a better one as a replacement.

        • by sootman ( 158191 ) on Monday May 23, 2011 @10:11AM (#36217044) Homepage Journal

          Which is why this is such a big story. Apple made a jump like this while having sub-par service and expending absolutely ZERO effort at marketing to corporations. They even quit making the XServe and XServe RAID. So why the jump in sales?

          • So why the jump in sales?

            I would presume for the same reason that businesses installed Windows servers in droves - the mid-level managers had the machines at home. They assumed that they could thus understand the servers themselves, because no dysfunctional middle manager can have his underlings knowing more than he does.

            So, "I have a Mac at home, I should have one at the office. My underlings should have what I have (but with a smaller hard drive and LCD panel)".

            Just a guess based on the last go-around.

            • by Excelsior ( 164338 ) on Monday May 23, 2011 @04:31PM (#36221458)

              Being an employee of a major corporation, I'd offer a different theory. I've watched us go from no-Macs to maybe 100 Macs in the past quarter. It has nothing to do "I have a Mac at home". It has everything to do with iOS development. iPhones and iPads are now supported devices in the enterprise. We can now receive our corporate email on iOS devices, where previously this was restricted to BlackBerry devices.

              As a result, internal corporate applications are being developed in iOS. The iPad in particular is attractive as a business tool. Carrying one to a corporate meeting is as easy as carrying a notebook, and the company doesn't even have to pay for the hardware because many people already bring their own to work.

              Since Apple has created a situation where you can only develop for iOS on OSX, voila, we have a large number of OSX machines by necessity.

      • Dell support has been okay. They will send a person out same day to replace most things.

        Most support that we use is provided by a 3rd party contract now. If they end up supporting Macs too then it will not matter what type of machines we have.

    • 4.5% of 100,000,000 is 45,000,000. 66% of 10,000,000 is 6,600,000. My PC numbers are obviously low and my mac numbers exaggerated, but you get the point.

      Factor up or down as you like, but 66% growth in Macs just isn't the same.

      If you read the article and look at the charts, you'll see they state only percentages and no actual raw numbers to evaluate on our own.

    • You can get enterprise support from Apple; it's just not very well known. Apple is still a bit new in this area. Business Week covered this quiet trend in 2008 []
  • by tripleevenfall ( 1990004 ) on Monday May 23, 2011 @08:52AM (#36216230)

    This is an interesting change. At my former employer, they piloted a program to allow developers to develop on a Linux box rather than a Windows one, but it was not utilized by many and the desktop team found the support too painful for their taste.

    Now looking at a different article from TFA: []

    "What's driving the growth? Wolf writes, "Notwithstanding its premium prices compared with Windows PCs, the Mac should continue to grow faster than the PC market, propelled by the halo effects now emanating from the iPod, iPhone and iPad along with the international rollout of Apple Stores. The cost of ownership is emerging to be another key factor. Square Group chief, Darren King, notes, "Total cost of ownership (TCO) for a Mac vs a comparable Wintel device over 3-4 years is actually lower!" Think about that."

    "Eight out of 10 organizations said they are "more likely to allow more users to deploy Macs as their enterprise desktops" in 2010-2011, up from 68 percent in the 2009 survey," the researchers said."

    It's interesting that the coming decade might herald, rather than the switch we might have anticipated to Linux desktops (following the Year of Linux on the Desktop of course), a switch to desktop autonomy and self-governance at work.

    • "Total cost of ownership (TCO) for a Mac vs a comparable Wintel device over 3-4 years is actually lower!" Think about that."

      I'm sure this varies drastically based on company size and requirements of the employees. If you were going high-end anyway, then the capital outlay difference is far lower. If the users are virus-magnets, then even expensive hardware may pay for itself in short order.

      But for a big company with many lower-end users and the virus situation under control, it's hard for me to understand how TCO could be lower - though 3-4 years is a long time to make up a few hundred bucks.

      But yeah, if I were setting up a bunc

    • "Total cost of ownership (TCO) for a Mac vs a comparable Wintel device over 3-4 years is actually lower!" Think about that."

      That's just an Apple variant of the usual Microsoft marketing drivel against Linux... None of it is based on facts of any kind. My bullshit filter also goes off when anyone says "think about that" after producing some very vague and unsubstantiated numbers.

  • Not a Surprise (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TyroneShoe ( 912878 ) on Monday May 23, 2011 @08:56AM (#36216280)
    In tech companies, it's still a problem retaining good talent. To a lot of people (including where I work) being given a MacBook as their company laptop is actually a perk. I work for a software company whose products run on all major platforms (OSX, Win, UNIX, Linux, BSD, etc) and a good number of our employees (more than 100) have MacBooks. It makes sense to have some people using the platform that our software runs on also...
  • by SavoWood ( 650474 ) on Monday May 23, 2011 @09:07AM (#36216380) Homepage

    To borrow a line from Fats Domino, ain't that a shame that /.ers can't find anything better to do than slam Apple's success. Not too long ago, Apple was as doomed as BSD.

    Apple Enterprise does exist. It's much smaller than Apple Education, but it's not exactly tiny. Sure, the territories are quite vast, but it appears they're covering it very well. Between channel sales and direct, the numbers being put down by Apple are quite impressive. I'd guess the majority of the bump here is from the channel. That part of the organization is well funded and extremely well supported. The management there is strong and willing to do what it takes. The direct sales organization is newly reorganized as of about a year ago. It appears that reorganization is doing well under the new leadership, and they have been aligned under the VP for channel sales. This was obviously a good move for Apple.

    As for Enterprise Support, it also exists. I don't know a lot about the structure of it, but I do know whenever I called for support, it was very good. I've had changes made to software, replacement hardware, and always a friendly and knowledgeable person on the phone instead of just a screen reader. Apple's support is impressive. You have to pay for it, but most good things are that way.

    • To borrow a line from Fats Domino, ain't that a shame that /.ers can't find anything better to do than slam Apple's success. Not too long ago, Apple was as doomed as BSD.

      Some of us were happy about that, too. I was a Mac user when they promised us Copland. I was using BeOS when they suggested they would use that. And now we (well, you) are stuck with a bastardized, bloated version of NeXTStep which ruined everything good about its interface.

      • And now we (well, you) are stuck with a bastardized, bloated version of NeXTStep which ruined everything good about its interface.

        Probably written using Windows. The interface for NeXTStep was/is not that great. It might have been great at the time, but comparing it to OSX of today is stupid. To use a car analogy, that is like comparing a car engine from the 1960's to today. The advances outweigh the simplicity. The "in my day everything was better" is the war cry of those who can't or won't adapt. I am so sick of that argument. If your PREFERENCE is to use an interface that looks like 1997, then by all means you still can use GNUste

  • collateral (Score:4, Insightful)

    by datapharmer ( 1099455 ) on Monday May 23, 2011 @09:08AM (#36216392) Homepage
    More like collateral damage (at least in the enterprise). With no rack mountable servers and no licenses for non-apple hardware based virtualization it is pretty much impossible to fully integrate macs into enterprise without 3rd party solutions, and since Apple clearly isn't interested in enterprise why would enterprise want to bother with macs? I love my apple laptop, but integrating macs in an AD environment is hellish. It should be as simple as click join domain, but I can tell you from experience that is only theory. Reality is that unless you are building the domain from the ground up with macs in mind it is a PITA involving screwing with bonjour services, disabling signing, and trying to figure out why a handful of the macs won't renew their kerberos tickets when all the others in the same OU will. Using a mac server solves most of these headaches and gives some level of access control, but without allowing virtualization or having a rackmount option (that can be purchased without the bookkeeper having a heart attack) many businesses are back to square one trying to make due with basic binding or using expensive third party options like likewise or centrify. Xserve was only unpopular because it was ungodly expensive for what it did and most admins only needed something that fit in a rack and could provide active directory and group policy, which doesn't require 50 cores and a TB of ram nonsense. So Mr. Jobs, do you plan on replacing it with a rack mountable mini with redundant power supplies or can I slap a sticker on my poweredge and call it a mac? The alternative is the fancy imacs everyone loves get tossed to ebay come the next refresh cycle, and I'm not the only one with a headache from this [].
    • by dwightk ( 415372 )

      So Mr. Jobs, do you plan on replacing it with a rack mountable mini with redundant power supplies or can I slap a sticker on my poweredge and call it a mac? The alternative is the fancy imacs everyone loves get tossed to ebay come the next refresh cycle, and I'm not the only one with a headache from this [].

      I don't think y'all understand that Steve don't care.

    • Amen to that. I don't have experience with AD integration but even with an all-Mac network we still have all sorts of problems with Mac OS X Server (AFP processes maxing out to 1000's of % of CPU usage, Apple's own apps being very IO heavy, etc). In my experience Apple don't care about the enterprise market, and for all the hype, Mac OS X server can't do (well) most of the things Apple say it can. I've used OS X Server and Xserve since 2003, and for anything more than a small install I don't recommend it.


    • So, as I'm at one of the few enterprises that actually has an Apple Rep ...

      We've been told no more xServes, as they're convinced that everyone would be fine with either a MacPro mounted sideways (which doesn't have the same density per RU, or a bunch of minis (you can get shelves for 'em ... I'd go for the 1U that holds two [], as the 2U ones that hold 4 just doesn't have sufficient space for cables []), which doesn't have sufficient cores to handle heavy loads.

      I tried asking about when they'd release an i7 mini.

  • I know of a very very large cable company in the US that is allowing its managers and engineers a choice between PCs and Macs. The Macs are doing very well in the company, especially among the engineers.

    I think Google also has this option between Mac,Windos, and Linux.

    As for enterprise support, what does that mean for desktops/laptops? What does Dell or HP offer in that area that Apple doesn't. If it breaks, send it to them after IT looks at it. The only difference I think is that with Apple, if you have

    • I can call Dell and have them send me out a replacement part under warranty same day without having to sit through an 18 year old drop out read me a script asking me to turn it off and back on again and check the power cord. Dell and HP also offer servers with redundant power supplies, so when there is a power supply failure my company's infrastructure doesn't go down with it. Apple is great on the desktop, but in the server room it sucks balls (right now). So what's apple installing in that fancy datacente
      • by Bigbutt ( 65939 )

        Right now I'm dealing with an HP Script Monkey. It's taken me almost a week of back and forth. The last update I got from them indicates the SM ignored or failed to understand the update I made to the ticket the day before.

        Script Monkeys are everywhere.


      • In general business I think what you're seeing is mac desktops then Windows/*nix in the server room.

        As for Apple themselves they have likely developed their own server for their datacenter. I wouldn't be surprised to see something like what Google uses, a custom board, DC power supply etc... since Apple already has the experience in designing hardware.

      • by alen ( 225700 )

        and for that you have to have a corporate contract, buy the expensive corporate brand computers and the warranties. same $$$ as a Mac in the end

  • Where do we find mandatory ACLs or MLS policies in Mac OS X? Or are these systems not being deployed in security sensitive environments?
  • Without knowing the specifics, I'll still explain why this study is a folly.

    Let's say that 95% of all computers that where sold to businesses last comparable period where PCs (conservative guess).
    Let's say, just for example that a total of 100 million computers where sold last comparable period.
    That would mean 95 million PCs, 5 million macs.
    If we apply the above percentages, this would mean that 99.275 million PCs where sold.
    This would mean that 8.3 million macs where sold.
    This would mean a total of 107.575

    • Exactly. Talking about "growth" like it's meaningful is ridiculous when you're already starting at near-complete dominance. There's not much room to grow there, whereas a competitor which doesn't have much marketshare has pretty much nowhere to go but up.

      Basically, this article is someone trying to manipulate data to make Apple look (disproportionately) good rather than accurately inform. Go figure.

  • Government... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Third Position ( 1725934 ) on Monday May 23, 2011 @09:23AM (#36216536)

    More interesting is the figure for growth in the government segment - 155.6% isn't shabby growth there, either...

    • -156.6% is bad. In fact, anything under -100% would be considered a disaster in most sales departments.
  • IT hates apple (Score:5, Interesting)

    by EreIamJH ( 180023 ) on Monday May 23, 2011 @09:36AM (#36216700)
    My comany's new CTO (a total MS drone) came in 18 months ago and the first thing he did was launch a jihad against all the Linux boxen that had been quietly sitting there doing their thing for years. Massive IT pain resulted followed by a major blow out in the IT budget as he busily wrote cheques to MS and Dell. He thought he'd won. Then along came the iPad. First the Board of Directors started asking why they couldn't read the board papers on their iPads, then the CEO wanted one and asked why he couldn't get his email working, then all the executives wanted one. Now iPads have spread down four levels of management. Then people started asking about integrating iPhone because they didn't like having to carry a blackberry just for work. The CTO kept talking about how insecure apples were compared to MS and that it'll take months of careful study to integrate. Last week the CEO sacked him.
    • by DAldredge ( 2353 )
      What email server was used that the ipad could not connect to?
    • Re:IT hates apple (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 23, 2011 @10:43AM (#36217410)

      I agree, IT hates Apple. Not because it's Apple, but it's because they don't understand it much like they don't understand Linux. What they tend to not understand is that Windows is the one doing things differently, not LInux or Mac. Oh and there aren't any policy wizards.

      Secondly, the reason users in corporate environments like Apple is because IT doesn't understand Apple. That means that you don't have to deal with silly, overbearing policies that make your computer run slow and stop you from using your applications until you call the Helpdesk who opens a ticket that will be addressed within 8 hours. Heck the best bit of news I got was the news that I could have my own Linux box at work and that IT wouldn't support it.

      The worst thing that could happen to Apple is that IT start to love them. Then your Mac desktop would end up as unusable as the Windows desktop you currently have.

    • Re:IT hates apple (Score:5, Insightful)

      by King_TJ ( 85913 ) on Monday May 23, 2011 @11:30AM (#36217860) Journal

      Good! Only problem is, they should have sacked him a LOT sooner....

      IMO, there's really NO excuse for spending money to change out a system that's proven to work efficiently for people in a company. This isn't about "Microsoft vs. Linux" or anything else. It's just simple math. If you spend money on your infrastructure, it should always be towards quantifiable improvements (often/usually involving upgrading an existing system that works, vs. ripping it out and starting over with something else).

      I remember years ago.... a couple of my friends had jobs at Ralston Purina (long before their merger with Nestle Corp.). They were one of the firms in town that used OS/2 extensively, with Lotus Notes for email. The story I heard is, the C.E.O. wound up getting "wined and dined" by salespeople from Microsoft, including giving him a fancy titanium golf club/driver under his hotel room bed as a gift, to get him to switch the company to Microsoft Exchange.

      Well, the switchover was hugely expensive, and they wound up with not only no new functionality for the end-users, but MORE problems than before in certain circumstances. (There were things the administrative assistants could do with their boss's calendars/schedules in Notes that weren't possible anymore as "delegates" in Outlook/Exchange, as I recall them saying.) Additionally, as Notes allowed more UI customization than Outlook/Exchange did, it caused them some issues with things they'd developed in-house for OS/2 and Notes in the past (like kiosks they had set up with very simplified screens with, say, 4 or 6 buttons displayed on them that could be tapped to do very specific things like viewing one calendar of events, or checking one public information type mailbox).

      Ultimately, I suppose it worked out for the better for them in the long-run, only because IBM wound up pretty much dumping OS/2 support. But that wasn't a factor back when this changeover was done.

  • My mom is in IT at John Deere and just this year she's having to learn how to support Macs now. As I understand it, it's only being used by some of the employees and not any of the servers. Deere is a pretty big international corporation, and they're taking Macs more seriously.

  • Makes sense. (Score:3, Informative)

    by wezelboy ( 521844 ) on Monday May 23, 2011 @10:16AM (#36217108)
    If you want to develop for iOS, you pretty much have to have a Mac.
  • by david.emery ( 127135 ) on Monday May 23, 2011 @10:34AM (#36217328)

    "in the beginning", I was the one corporate Mac user (by special agreement/dispensation/employment agreement with the CEO.) Then a couple of Macs were purchased for specific projects, plus a couple other 'favorite sons' got a Mac. Once the senior leadership (including the CIO and COO) actually -tried them-, they decided that the convenience/ease of use of the software platform, along with the reliability of the hardware, was A Good Thing. So the corporate policy was still "No Macs", but they became in some respects a status simple at the VP level. Then the CFO said "no Macs". But with a significant number of VPs advocating for the Mac (including the ability to connect to the corporate Exchange server, and the ability to run corporate Windows-only applications through virtualization), is likely to result a re-look in the "no Macs" policy. A big part of that is that the hardware's lasting a lot longer. If a Dell breaks in 2 years and a Mac lasts 4, and the price for SIMILARLY EQUIPPED machines is relatively close, then the Total Cost Of Ownership argument for Macs is a strong one.

    But we're talking about 20 machines in a 500 person company, so Mac penetration here is not very strong. The level of interest at the VP and senior tech staff level remains high. And typically that's what I've seen in several other companies; the 'desire for Macs' is particularly strong in the senior technical ranks. In my case specifically, and in the case of others I've talked to, it's a combination of ease-of-use for everyday tasks, hardware reliability, and the lack of IT controls and interference (e.g. corporate-injected software updates that crash your machine in the middle of working or worrying about the latest crop of vulnerabilities.) Also for many of us, the Unix underpinnings provides a lot of capabilities for tools we grew up with (e.g. grep, chmod, EMACS, etc) that are often highly productive alternatives to the Windows way of doing things.

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