Leadership

Report: Mac sales are booming in enterprise, government

There have been conflicting statistics recently about whether Apple is losing or gaining share in the computer market. A new report says large enterprises are gobbling up Macs.

There have been conflicting statistics recently about whether Apple is losing or gaining share in the overall computer market. However, new numbers show Macs making significant gains with enterprise customers, especially really large companies and governments.

Web analytics company Net Applications reported earlier this month that in July Mac lost market share -- in terms of the percentage of computers accessing in the Web -- for fifth time in the past seven months, dropping to an even 5.0%. Meanwhile, around the same time, Deutsche Bank reported that Apple jumped from No. 7 to No. 3 in the global notebook market during Q2, on the strength of iPad sales.

Now we've got some more Q2 numbers. According to IDC, and reported by Fortune, Mac shipments to businesses increased by 49.8% year-over-year. That's more than triple the growth rate (15.7%) of enterprise sales as a whole. Mac sales to governments grew 200% YoY, which was 16 times faster than the 12.1% growth rate of that segment as a whole. Along with the government sales, Macs also showed the greatest growth in the biggest companies.

Take a look at the two charts below, then take the poll and jump in the discussion to tell us about whether these number are consistent with what you're seeing in your company.

Source: IDC, Needham, and Fortune

Source: IDC, Needham, and Fortune

What about in your company?

About

Jason Hiner is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He writes about the people, products, and ideas changing how we live and work in the 21st century. He's co-author of the upcoming book, Follow the Geeks (bit.ly/ftgeeks).

41 comments
akfaka
akfaka

It's about time the stupid companies to wake up and learn to be smart by ditching the Windows garbage

Stalemate
Stalemate

...is an even more monopolistic company whose major marketing strategy is comparing itself to the dominating market segment? I like what Michael Robertson says here (links added manually to quote): http://www.michaelrobertson.com/archive.php?minute_id=325 "The benefits of device freedom are not just an abstract theory or philosophical, but a true value to consumers. I recently returned from a lengthy trip where I used my Android phone to save hundreds of dollars by using the portable wifi hotspot feature. This allows the mobile phone to act as a network connection for other devices meaning that my laptop and other portable devices could all connect to the internet. While the same function is technically possible with an iPhone, such software is banned from the app store. Here's a list (http://cydia.saurik.com/store/) of popular banned apps for iPhones. I have huge admiration for Jobs brilliant mind which delivers industry shaping projects and has led Apple to an amazing position of tech leadership. (Here's a table which illustrates that, depending on your measurement, Apple is either #1 or #2 best tech company: https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0AtQqjKGFVBWBdGJjWXpyLVJiRkFyakgzMGN6NklWenc&hl=en) However, I reject the closed controlled world he advocates. I choose freedom." As for overall stability, I'd love to see actual percentages from IT pros who support both PCs and Macs and see which platform requires less maintenance, when comparing actual ratios.

DNSB
DNSB

"As for overall stability, I'd love to see actual percentages from IT pros who support both PCs and Macs and see which platform requires less maintenance, when comparing actual ratios." My experience is that we have fewer calls for Macs. Last two years stats show that Macs generated, on the average, about 40% fewer trouble calls on a per machine basis. The Mac users tend to be using their machines for different uses compared to the PC users so hard to make a real comparison. Then we have those users who have issues no matter what platform they are using. The kind of user for whom an Etch A Sketch might make a good replacement machine.

Stalemate
Stalemate

Thanks for the feedback, DNSB, and *wink at the Etch-a-sketch comment. Everyone has at least one of those, huh? ;)

jdayman
jdayman

Spam! Spam! Wonderful Spam!

dwdino
dwdino

a 200% increase, the government would only have to buy 500,000 desktops. That should be easy.

woomera
woomera

Sooo, they sold another pair? ^_^

ganton123
ganton123

that "Macs (are) making significant gains with enterprise customers, especially really large companies and governments"? Is it solely on the strength of iPad sales? And I saw an article on TR the other day about classification of the iPad. So, it's considered a "notebook"?

QAonCall
QAonCall

Why are large companies spending MORE capital on machines that most folks are getting away from (notebooks and desktops as workforces get more mobile?) As a consultant, I could never recommend buying mac books. If this represents iPads sales, then I would say...it may be the 'shiny things'

sboverie
sboverie

It has been a mixed enviroment where I work although lately Macbooks have been pushed across entire groups. The number of Macs increased in the last 2 years but has remained about the same mix of PCs and Macs. The ironic thing is that the Macs are broken as often as the PCs, the Mac users have to get VM ware and a copy of WinXP to use the applications for the enterprise. I think the emphasis on Macs was that the senior managers took the "I am a Mac/I'm a PC" commecial too seriously and were concerned with security. There are plans to move to Win7 soon for the rest of the enterprise. The charts seem to be misleading as they show growth and not number of units. If one place had 1 Mac and then bought 3 Macs then it would show as a 200% increase.

nolebuc1
nolebuc1

I agree with your analogy. My stock went up 400% yesterday, but if I fail to mention it is a penny stock and was .02 cents a share, then the data is misleading. The mantra among the Apple fans is that only x% of Macs are hacked or get viruses... Well, when only 4-5% of all compouters in use are Apples then of course that stat is going to be skewed relative to the aggregate number of computers in use. Apple's products are overpriced niche products. If I am the IT manager for a large company and I am asked to purchase laptops for the sales force, do you think I am going to buy $1800-2000 dollar Macs when I can buy Lenovos for about $900 and have them be compatible with most anything out there instead of jumping through hoops to get the Macs to work with everything? That is a waste of money and time across the board. Additionally, why would an Enterprise want the training cost associated with teaching people how to use an unfamiliar OS, which is going to directly affect productivity. Makes zero sense. I simply do not believe the stats.

TheBadMan
TheBadMan

I agree. Zero Mac's at my current company. 350 Employees world wide. 2 Total at may last company, Chip manufacturer, 50,000 employees world wide. :)

vdesilva
vdesilva

... more numbers that don't say much. Or I have missed something.

ymorua
ymorua

These charts and your article are misleading. The percentage of growth is based on total number of PCs versus total number of Macs. A 200% increase in Macs over PCs may equate to a very, very small number when one considers how many Macs are being counted versus how many PCs are being counted. If you don't understand where I'm going with this let me know and I'll give you some hypotheticals.

JaredH
JaredH

I have seen an increase, although I am ready to loose my lunch every time I see it. The misleading part of all of this is that an ipad is NOT a mac. It is a different apple device altogether. So to place 2 different devices in the same category to make the sales numbers look good is 100% deception. That is not a tactic Apple or any other company should take pride in. If you were to say Apple is increasing in the tablet market and possibly a leader, I would agree. Lets compare apples to apples here, please.

vdesilva
vdesilva

... different flavours, Granny Smith and English Cox

DNSB
DNSB

"If you were to say Apple is increasing in the tablet market and possibly a leader, I would agree. Lets compare apples to apples here, please." Possibly a leader? Given the numbers show that the iPad has outsold all other tablets combined, it's hard not to call them the market leader. For 2010, the current predictions seem to be around 5 million iPads compared to 170,000 Windows based slate computers. With the upcoming release of Android and WebOS slates, these numbers may change but neither Android nor WebOS slates have significant sales at this time. Could you explain the logic by which you would consider the iPad whose sales at the end of June were 3.3M as not being the market leader in a market where the current major competition is predicted to sell 5% of that volume over the entire year? Inquiring minds are eager to know.

Stalemate
Stalemate

In fact, I'd even suggest it's not quite up to snuff to be compared to other Tablet PC offerings, simply based on the basis of multitasking and networking options. Despite any sales numbers, the closed system Apple is creating around their devices makes them harder to insert in corporate environments.

DNSB
DNSB

The segment of the message I quoted and responded to was quite clear. "If you were to say Apple is increasing in the tablet market and possibly a leader, I would agree. Lets compare apples to apples here, please." He would agree that Apple was POSSBILY a market leader in the tablet market. As I commented, when the sales of all other slate computers are a small fraction of iPad sales, it hard to see how anyone would dispute that Apple is the leader in that market. Even if you include convertible laptops, Apple still remains the sales leader.

Clayton L.
Clayton L.

I believe the point he was insinuating is that Tablet sales and PC sales should be separated. There is no doubt that the iPad leads the Tablet Market. The question is should it be considered a competitor to the PC or another category altogther (Tablet).

kenr
kenr

Here here. A cynical person would say that there used to be only one Mac on the desk of that graphics artist down the hall, and now there are also two for the developers to play with iPhone Apps.

jasonhiner
jasonhiner

Yes, keep in mind that Mac market share is still in the single digits, in most cases.

JamesRL
JamesRL

If and when Apple hits its previous peak of about 12% of the personal computer market in the US, and 10% of the world personal computer market. Right now they would be very happy to have half of that number. At one point they outsold IBM and Compaq.

JamesRL
JamesRL

Don't confuse market cap with market share in the personal computer space, especially, as the original post suggests the topic is Macs in the enterpise. My point is that to be a significant player in the Enterprise market you have to have the kind of market share Apple once had, where large corporations would see you as a valid alternative and not a niche player. James

vdesilva
vdesilva

Apple's market cap went past Microsoft's. That means in a business sense they are performing better. It means that the market segments in which Apple operates they are adding value to its business. We should be interested in this, because it keeps us off the streets as well, not the Washington Enterprise Managers. As a global economy we need to add value and increase our business performance. It is very plausible that Apple will go the way of Data General, Prime, Digital or become like IBM. Whatever, they are performing well and we should acknowledge them for doing that and try to learn why.

ASBzone
ASBzone

Thanks, ymorua I was just about to say the very same thing. How about we find out the raw sales numbers for PCs and Macs rather than just the percentage increase? After all, 12% of 1000 is greater than 200% of 50. -ASB: http://xeesm.com/AndrewBaker

JamesRL
JamesRL

My company has zero Macs in a very large company. I have had the occasional request from some clients who want to run our client software at their location on a Mac.

Roc Riz
Roc Riz

One of the reasons why I finally broke down and got a MacBook was so that when they come into my agency, I can support them. Like anything else, the suits will think of us IT staff as magicians, and wave a magic wand to get things to work, just as they did with PCs. Though there hasn't been any purchasing of Apples here, I do expect to see some next year, but who knows.

yobtaf
yobtaf

I would hate to see Macs become mainstream. Part of what I like about Mac is that it's following is a small exclusive group of people in the arts.

bill.tkach
bill.tkach

If they become mainstream, then they can take the heat off of Microsoft, who is always being nailed for EVERYTHING. Let Mac lead for a while, and we'll see how quickly Apple becomes the company that is the brunt of all the jokes, insults, and accusations. Being in front of a race that has no end means that you are very likely to falter. Microsoft will eventually be overtaken, be it at the knees, by small personal devices, or by a shot to the head, by some fantastic new technology that Apple invents... but then Apple will have to see if it can lead by not comparing itself to something it will have already conquered (ie Microsoft at that point), but by showing us that it can actually sell it's products by not demeaning it's competition in child-like comparison adds.

JonGauntt
JonGauntt

By and large we still use PCs for the majority of our classrooms and faculty offices, but there have been some key replacements (Dean and Chairs) to Apple, so I expect in the next several years that this ratio will shift even more, particularly since some of the purchases were the 27" iMacs. If we can get fully functional iPads into the classroom environment then this could potentially add another 10% or so to the overall Mac user base (though some will sync theirs to PCs, but having native Keynote will be a big factor for presentations). Since I do fall in the University "Government" category, I will say that ours is growing, but we are not seeing 200%... more likely 10%-20% with some bigger potential in the coming years.

viveka
viveka

In a large organization I consult for, over 70% of the Mac users run windows through VM ware - so the Mac for all purposes is a fashion statement. Similarly, I saw an article/blog to move from windows-7 to Ubuntu 10, and install WINE on it.

DNSB
DNSB

Around here, quite a few users with Macs also have Windows installed. On the average, they spend 80% of their time in OSX and 20% in Windows. With the latest flavour of Office being installed on the Macs, that percentage is dropping. For the most part, they like having the choice which the pure Windows machine does not offer them.

vdesilva
vdesilva

... when Balmer gets the sack for bankrupting Microsoft. It will be very soon.

ian.cowley
ian.cowley

I agree. Our mac users only have the windows partition so they can run legacy applications. 80% of the work is done on the mac OS. This would be more if they could use internet explorer on the mac (for web site testing)

Ian Wright
Ian Wright

So you're suggesting that those users don't use the Mac OS or any Mac native applications? That's a big claim. I'm aware in my large educational institution of many Mac users running VMWare but for about 5% of the time.

emarques
emarques

I work with I.T. and I can see a change towards Macs.. IT pros which used to work in Windows are moving to Macs (myself included). Apple tech support requests from users is on demand aswell. Though I think Mac can't yet replace Windows' respectable marketplace, it is growing in popularity and will grow much more. There are only 2 tools I still use in Windows... altough there are similar tools in Mac, I grew found of those and can't live without... but with vmware... I can just popup windows to run those and forget about the rest...!

adakar_sg
adakar_sg

Was on a customer site and saw a mac, i went up and asked him how he did with their local security messures as he used a mac.. well it had windows7.. so why pay so much extra for the box when you dont intend to use the OS i suppose the 40% extra price is supposed to cover..

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