iPhones and iPads, not Macs, driving Apple's push into business

Increasingly, iPhones and iPads are making inroads into the business market for Apple. Take the poll and let us know your organization's level of interest in adding either of these devices to the IT inventory.

Nick Wingfield has an interesting story in the New York Times -- "Once Wary, Apple Warms Up to Business Market" -- that reports on how businesses are increasingly embracing Apple products, but not for the pricey desktops or laptops; it's the iPhones and iPads that have drawn most enterprise interest. It seems a bit ironic that the most consumer-oriented devices are the ones that have finally made the biggest impact on business. According to Wingfield's report, here are some of the companies leading the surge:

  • Lowes bought 42,000 iPhones for employees to check inventory
  • Boston Scientific has given out 3,000 iPads to its field sales team, and will add 1,500 more by year's end
  • Alaska Airlines (1,400 pilots) and United and Continental Airlines (11,000 pilots) have started distributing iPads to pilots to keep track of the latest flight information
  • Siemens Energy has started distributing iPads to its technicians

Obviously, any work tasks that rely on portability and the need for constant updates are extremely well-suited for iPhones and iPads, and they're still a heck of a lot cheaper and more mobile than even the smallest laptop. Plus, Apple got out in front of the tablet craze with its iPad, which has given them a leg up on the competition.

Wingfield points out the main pain points that IT departments have faced with deploying Apple products in the past (besides price):

Also, although Apple's secrecy about where its products are headed may help it make a big marketing splash in the consumer market, corporate I.T. departments like to know more so they can budget for big new technology investments.

"Traditionally, you sit down with a vendor and they show you a five- and 10-year road map," said Todd Schofield, global head of the enterprise mobility group for Standard Chartered Bank. "With Apple, they don't do that. You don't know what's coming next week, never mind two years."

Have you noted a change in your own organization's (management/IT department) attitude toward Apple? Take the poll and let us know how, if at all, iPhones and iPads are figuring into your IT landscape.

Share your comments on Apple's future in the business sector. Will CEO Tim Cook lead Apple into a cozier relationship with corporate environments?

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Selena has been at TechRepublic since 2002. She is currently a Senior Editor with a background in technical writing, editing, and research. She edits Data Center, Linux and Open Source, Apple in the Enterprise, The Enterprise Cloud, Web Designer, and...


...according to Gartner's Q3 report on smartphone market share. The Android OS phone market share increased to 52% of the worldwide market now, which is 3.25 times larger than Apple's iOS share (currently at just over 16%). True, the iPad dominates the tablet craze, but I've yet to see any field application where a cheaper alternative (Android or other) could not do the same function - and perhaps even offer better adaptability to a given environment. When one brushes the spin-doctoring and PR speak aside, can we really say Apple is making any more impact on the corporate world than 30 years ago when worldwide it's still sitting at around a 7% share of the market? Sources: - -

Vulpinemac 1 Like

However, on a year-by-year basis Apple continues to grow--and Android's continued growth has struck a trip-wire that could shatter its progress. There are simply too many discussions about alternative options among current Android OEMs to believe Android will continue the growth or the dominance of the mobile market. Add to this the possibility (though apparently slim probability) of Windows offering some real competition to the current top two and that rapid growth has to peak and slide down to a more sustainable rate. You might also remember that market share is based on sales, and sales of the iPhone naturally shrink immediately prior to the release of the next model; at which point they tend to again jump higher than the two quarters prior to that release. So the argument relying on Gartner and Marketshare.hitslink is really taking a very short view of the real market.

belli_bettens 2 Like

First of all, Apple did not "go out in front of the tablet craze", they created the craze. They made people believe that they suddenly needed a tablet, people bought it (thumbs up for apple) and other companies tried to catch up. Second: Where do you buy your iPads/laptops? I haven't seen a single store yet where they haven't got a laptop that's cheaper than an iPad. Maybe you accidentally stepped into an Apple store? It's really unprofessional when people are making up the news instead of bringing it, I'm not saying that I would be a better blogger. But I'm sure I just wouldn't blog at all if I don't know what I'm talking about.


If the article had any decent meat to it, instead of more or less stating that certain businesses are buying ipads and iphones for it's staff and that apple are secretive about it's plans then maybe more people would comment.

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