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Wolf: further analysis shows Macs gaining big with business

updated 10:32 pm EST, Wed November 21, 2012

Enterprise sales up over 50 percent, nearing 10 percent marketshare

Part of Apple's ability to defy -- sometimes quite dramatically -- the ongoing slump of traditional PC sales may be due to a slow-growing but increasing acceptance of Macs in the enterprise. Needham & Company analyst Charlie Wolf has highlighted the growth in a note to investors using data from the September quarter, showing that sales of Macs to US businesses has nearly doubled over the past year, from 5.4 percent in fiscal Q4 2011 to 9.3 percent in the most recent quarter. While sales of PCs to the business sector were down 13.3 percent year-over-year, Apple was up more than 21 percent in the same period.

Even more importantly, Apple is making significant inroads in its share of revenue from Mac sales, reaching 17.4 percent of all business-sales revenue in the September quarter. This again is up substantially from a year ago, where it had 10.7 percent of revenues.

Wolf primarily credits Apple (and, perhaps ironically, Microsoft) with having added features, such as Exchange compatibility, to make Macs work more seamlessly with Windows infrastructures. Macs can also run Windows programs either through virtualization or Apple's Boot Camp partition solution, making Macs the only computers that can natively run all four of the most popular business platforms -- Windows, Linux, Mac and UNIX -- and a platform that can run older versions of Windows and other OSes, sometimes crucial for software compatibility.

Another factor, he said, was the "halo effect" of the enormous impact iPhones and iPads have had (along with the "Bring Your Own Device" paradigm now widely used in enterprise) in corporate environments. While Microsoft's Windows still rules the roost in business, changes in IT practices and improvements Microsoft has made over the years to make alternate operating systems more compatible have benefitted OS X to "enable the Mac to become a more responsible, if not first-class, citizen in Microsoft's network environment," Wolf said.

Apple sold around 4.9 million Macs in its fiscal fourth quarter and is expected to sell about the same number (possibly slightly less) in the holiday quarter, as sales focus shifts away from institutions and businesses back towards consumer buying. Overall, Mac sales have grown at a very slow rate -- about one percent YOY for 2012 -- but have outgrown PC sales consistently for over six years.




By Electronista Staff
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  1. broohaha22

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 07-07-06

    Based on my personal experience, I agree. The very large financial company I joined two years ago, which I thought would be hopelessly Windows-centric, introduced Macbook Pros as an option to have as our primary computer its IT software developers and systems engineers, and they have been hugely popular.

    Rumor has it, they decided to introduce it after having too many good developers cited at their exit interviews the over-dependence on Windows as one of the reasons for choosing to leave the firm.

  1. Inkling

    Junior Member

    Joined: 07-25-06

    Business involves a lot of working with text. Apple would do even better with businesses and professionals if it enhanced OS X (and iOS) text services so virtually every text app became much more useful within a matter of months. Examples include:


    [LIST=1]

  2. Make MAJOR improvements to spelling suggestions. As is, OS X fails to offer a suggestion about a third the time, which wastes a lot of time. Even a single missing letter can stump it. "Did you mean" inside Google search spots the misspelling and its correction about 98% of the time. OS X should be as smart as Google Search
  3. Easy file transfer to mobile devices. My Mac laptop needs a option to send a document from inside any app to my iPad and an equivalent app. Just select File-Digital-Send to my iPad. Apple might even add the ability to send documents to a colleague's mobile devices.
  4. Build in Track Changes that works inside and between all willing text apps. That's a must-have feature for business. It's why many endure Word but would rather not.
  5. Making creating a ePub file as easy as creating a PDF has always been in OS X. Most PDF documents are too large to be readable on an iPhone. We need ePub built into OS X and iOS and the universal language for text.
  6. Build in HTML-like tagging of text for its meaning, i.e. character and paragraph styles as in Word. Today, many documents no longer end up on large sheets of paper. With screen sizes varying from a few inches to 30 inches. We need a way to format text for the display size. And make those tags transfer easily between apps.
  7. Add a clever implementation of GREP with some well-written scripts. It can be a real time-saver. Prewritten scripts (i.e. to format phone numbers) would mean most users would not need to know how to code GREP.


    Apple's advertising should also show more people over the age of thirty and people doing something other than playing, vacationing, and dancing. In the 1990s, businesses were so solidly behind Windows that Apple had to target a 'young people at play' demographic. Today that's no longer so, but Apple's ads haven't changed. Apple's own ads limit its appeal.

    If Apple made OS X and iOS a more efficient work environment by improving text services (virtually unchanged in the last five years or more) they could create the ultimate in ads for businesses, one showing people leaving work early thanks to using a Mac while their colleagues remain behind, sweating over a Windows machine. Bosses would love it. Employees would love it. The family at home would love it.

  1. SockRolid

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 01-21-10

    Would be interesting to see the breakdown between iMac / Mac Pro and MacBook Air / MacBook Pro in sales to businesses. I'd guess that the MacBook Air is a huge contributor to business sales. Spreadsheets, word processing / document workflow, and other business-related computing tasks don't need massive CPU power. The MacBook Air could easily handle most common business computing tasks, plus it has portability, build quality, lower system administration costs, longer lifespan, and lower total cost of ownership than Wintel laptops.

  1. chas_m

    MacNN Staff

    Joined: 08-04-01

    Here Inkling and I are in complete agreement. I think his list of suggestions is brilliant and hope that he cc'd tcook@apple.com on that.

  1. besson3c

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 03-03-01

    Originally Posted by InklingView Post


    Business involves a lot of working with text. Apple would do even better with businesses and professionals if it enhanced OS X (and iOS) text services so virtually every text app became much more useful within a matter of months. Examples include: [LIST=1]

  2. Make MAJOR improvements to spelling suggestions. As is, OS X fails to offer a suggestion about a third the time, which wastes a lot of time. Even a single missing letter can stump it. "Did you mean" inside Google search spots the misspelling and its correction about 98% of the time. OS X should be as smart as Google Search
  3. Easy file transfer to mobile devices. My Mac laptop needs a option to send a document from inside any app to my iPad and an equivalent app. Just select File-Digital-Send to my iPad. Apple might even add the ability to send documents to a colleague's mobile devices.
  4. Build in Track Changes that works inside and between all willing text apps. That's a must-have feature for business. It's why many endure Word but would rather not.
  5. Making creating a ePub file as easy as creating a PDF has always been in OS X. Most PDF documents are too large to be readable on an iPhone. We need ePub built into OS X and iOS and the universal language for text.
  6. Build in HTML-like tagging of text for its meaning, i.e. character and paragraph styles as in Word. Today, many documents no longer end up on large sheets of paper. With screen sizes varying from a few inches to 30 inches. We need a way to format text for the display size. And make those tags transfer easily between apps.
  7. Add a clever implementation of GREP with some well-written scripts. It can be a real time-saver. Prewritten scripts (i.e. to format phone numbers) would mean most users would not need to know how to code GREP.
    Apple's advertising should also show more people over the age of thirty and people doing something other than playing, vacationing, and dancing. In the 1990s, businesses were so solidly behind Windows that Apple had to target a 'young people at play' demographic. Today that's no longer so, but Apple's ads haven't changed. Apple's own ads limit its appeal.
    If Apple made OS X and iOS a more efficient work environment by improving text services (virtually unchanged in the last five years or more) they could create the ultimate in ads for businesses, one showing people leaving work early thanks to using a Mac while their colleagues remain behind, sweating over a Windows machine. Bosses would love it. Employees would love it. The family at home would love it.



    Re: #6, do you mean grep + awk? Grep is just a search tool. Isn't #5 covered with "paste and match style" and "paste and retain style" in apps like Notes?

  1. besson3c

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 03-03-01

    Originally Posted by SockRolidView Post


    Would be interesting to see the breakdown between iMac / Mac Pro and MacBook Air / MacBook Pro in sales to businesses. I'd guess that the MacBook Air is a huge contributor to business sales. Spreadsheets, word processing / document workflow, and other business-related computing tasks don't need massive CPU power. The MacBook Air could easily handle most common business computing tasks, plus it has portability, build quality, lower system administration costs, longer lifespan, and lower total cost of ownership than Wintel laptops.


    But if you factor in staffing costs and support of OS X involves additional effort of some sort, any cost advantages might be overshadowed.

    Perhaps things are changing, but it hasn't been until Quickbooks 2011 where it has gained multi-user support. There are still some areas where having a Mac in a business workflow is onerous.

  1. blahblahbber

    Banned

    Joined: 02-01-05

    Here's another one... How about crApple implementing a true "Print Selection" rather than having to manually implement printselection.service.... and another: How about changing text DPI modes to your liking?... oh, and another: How about disabling features for advanced users that KNOW they don't want running, like iPod.Framework (mandatory to run OSX)... gosh, I know another: how about allowing FLAC files to play natively iTunes or having iTunes Extensions like in Safari? AND Another.... how about being about to have native TRIPLE-BOOT capabilities rather than implementing rEFIT .... or how about merging itunes accounts for obvious reasons?? etc. etc..... I mean.... the list goes on and on and on .... on Lastly and most annoyingly: Why can't OSX manage my memory properly, I mean having to run the "purge" command to get OSX back on its paws does suck & has SUCKED FOR YEARS... FIX THIS!!!



    p.s. I know that FLAC or cryTunes isn't exactly business but still. And these are the MOST basic needs that have been lacking since the inception of OSX. Even bootcamp drivers aren't all that great... especially when trying to use crApple's bluetooth trackpad for windows, when you know that if bootcamp is supported, why can't the wireless trackpad have the crApple magic back in there?....

    yeah, I think someone should contact tim cook and point him to this thread.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by blahblahbberView Post

    How about disabling features for advanced users that KNOW they don't want running, like iPod.Framework (mandatory to run OSX)...



    Why does this matter?

    AFAIK, it is neither loaded nor running unless called for by the mounting of an iDevice; it just needs to be present.

    If it consumes absolutely no system resources, causes no trouble, and is for all intense porpoises completely invisible unless it is needed, why care?

    This reeks of legacy "I need to manually manage my extensions!" or "Why can't I manually allocate application memory in OS X" complaints from uprooted OS 9 users.


    Also, a note: why do you insist on disqualifying your entire persona through completely idiotic pot-shots and self-admitted trolling? Perpetually calling the company "crApple" and knowingly posting complete bullshit has absolutely no effect whatsoever except that it completely negates any validity the rest of your posts may have had. It took some effort to actually try and reply to what you were saying, rather than just dismissing it outright and letting you slide back into oblivion on the ignore list.

    I realize that getting folk riled up is the point, but really: you seem to be smarter than that. Change jobs, change partners, kick a puppy or at least do SOMETHING. But your schtick here is just… lame.

  1. blahblahbber

    Banned

    Joined: 02-01-05

    Originally Posted by besson3cView Post


    But if you factor in staffing costs and support of OS X involves additional effort of some sort, any cost advantages might be overshadowed.

    Perhaps things are changing, but it hasn't been until Quickbooks 2011 where it has gained multi-user support. There are still some areas where having a Mac in a business workflow is onerous.

    Additional costs come at a disadvantage if you are supporting two platforms rather than one for obvious reasons.... but running your business on just OSX will create less jobs since there is less maintenance on OSX. Microsoft created jobs, whether good or bad.... who wants to lose their income??? Do you want a human clone to replace you completely, because that isn't too far fetched...? Yeah, thought so.

  1. blahblahbber

    Banned

    Joined: 02-01-05

    Originally Posted by Spheric HarlotView Post


    Why does this matter?
    AFAIK, it is neither loaded nor running unless called for by the mounting of an iDevice; it just needs to be present.
    If it consumes absolutely no system resources, causes no trouble, and is for all intense porpoises completely invisible unless it is needed, why care?
    This reeks of legacy "I need to manually manage my extensions!" or "Why can't I manually allocate application memory in OS X" complaints from uprooted OS 9 users.
    Also, a note: why do you insist on disqualifying your entire persona through completely idiotic pot-shots and self-admitted trolling? Perpetually calling the company "crApple" and knowingly posting complete bullshit has absolutely no effect whatsoever except that it completely negates any validity the rest of your posts may have had. It took some effort to actually try and reply to what you were saying, rather than just dismissing it outright and letting you slide back into oblivion on the ignore list.
    I realize that getting folk riled up is the point, but really: you seem to be smarter than that. Change jobs, change partners, kick a puppy or at least do SOMETHING. But your schtick here is just… lame.

    OSX Memory issue is huge... FREE MEMORY IS MY TARGET. Read up on this issue; it's real and just needs you to look deeper than personal quick wit.

    Glad you did not argue about my other tiffs. And back to the self-admitted trolling; this was to satisfy your cravings.

    Also, I think I left one other thing out: Why can't crApple's New thunderbolt macs play nice with aftermarket SSDs?? This is just absurd in itself!

    Expect all ports to implement tighter restrictions as they continue to increase in data throughput. As soon as Thunderbolt came out... CCC has steered toward a commercial model.... and now here it is. You can't even format a new aftermarket Intel SSD installed in a macbook with thunderbolt. You have to format it via USB then install it to further "finish the job".... SUCKS, thanks crApple. Thank you very much for showing me where things are headed....

  1. Shaddim

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 04-11-03

    Originally Posted by blahblahbberView Post

    but running your business on just OSX will create less jobs since there is less maintenance on OSX.



    That's the point. If you're a business you're out to make money, we're not talking about NPOs here.

  1. besson3c

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 03-03-01

    Originally Posted by blahblahbberView Post


    Additional costs come at a disadvantage if you are supporting two platforms rather than one for obvious reasons.... but running your business on just OSX will create less jobs since there is less maintenance on OSX. Microsoft created jobs, whether good or bad.... who wants to lose their income??? Do you want a human clone to replace you completely, because that isn't too far fetched...? Yeah, thought so.


    That is an interesting and very one-sided way of looking at this, especially from somebody that insists on calling Apple "crApple". Your presence here remains a complete enigma to me.

  1. blahblahbber

    Banned

    Joined: 02-01-05

    Originally Posted by besson3cView Post


    That is an interesting and very one-sided way of looking at this, especially from somebody that insists on calling Apple "crApple". Your presence here remains a complete enigma to me.

    Hey I like the less of a hassle, but does the US or the world for that matter need a higher unemployment rate?

    I mean I charge $345 USD per hour to work on Windows platforms, and they [customers] pay.... but I charge only $200 USD per hour for OSX folks. I raise the price on windows platforms because I hate the routine windows problems that most folks have, so raising the price is supposed to discourage windows business on my end, hehe.... but some folks just seem to still justify it.

  1. besson3c

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 03-03-01

    Originally Posted by blahblahbberView Post


    Hey I like the less of a hassle, but does the US or the world for that matter need a higher unemployment rate?
    I mean I charge $345 USD per hour to work on Windows platforms, and they [customers] pay.... but I charge only $200 USD per hour for OSX folks. I raise the price on windows platforms because I hate the routine windows problems that most folks have, so raising the price is supposed to discourage windows business on my end, hehe.... but some folks just seem to still justify it.


    I guess the "one-sided" point was lost on you.

    What about from the vantage point of a small business owner? Being able to operate with less overhead allows the owner to maximize his/her profits, and potentially hire more in other areas.

  1. blahblahbber

    Banned

    Joined: 02-01-05

    Originally Posted by ShaddimView Post


    That's the point. If you're a business you're out to make money, we're not talking about NPOs here.

    Out to make money, and out to make money while creating jobs are two very different things. Which do you think the government is more willing to back??? ALLLRRRIGHTY THEN

  1. Shaddim

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 04-11-03

    Originally Posted by blahblahbberView Post

    Out to make money, and out to make money while creating jobs are two very different things. Which do you think the government is more willing to back??? ALLLRRRIGHTY THEN



    Why would I care what the government thinks or what they're willing to back? I'm going to run it as efficiently as I can without breaking the law. :err: If an office can work productively with 5 people, why would any savvy business owner employ 6 or 7? What you're saying makes little sense.

  1. besson3c

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 03-03-01

    Originally Posted by ShaddimView Post



    Why would I care what the government thinks or what they're willing to back? I'm going to run it as efficiently as I can without breaking the law. :err: If an office can work productively with 5 people, why would any savvy business owner employ 6 or 7? What you're saying makes little sense.


    Agreed.

    And those who have been making their money taking advantage of inefficient ways of computing the business world locked themselves into, I would hope that they aren't simply one-trick ponies, because any good IT person worth paying is obsessed with making things more efficient and thus reducing their own workload. Efficiency will ultimately win.

    The main problem with OS X in the business space has been missing software, higher entry costs, staffing/training, and weak server solutions (although many of those are going the way of the mostly platform agnostic cloud).

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by besson3cView Post

    The main problem with OS X in the business space has been missing software, higher entry costs, staffing/training, and weak server solutions (although many of those are going the way of the mostly platform agnostic cloud).



    Software can be written, and plenty HAS been written for *NIX architectures.

    The single biggest problem, near as I can see, is that businesses (at least, large businesses) absolutely require long-term agreements, perspective and predictability, and that is something that is diametrically opposed to the way Apple operates.

  1. besson3c

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 03-03-01

    Originally Posted by Spheric HarlotView Post



    Software can be written, and plenty HAS been written for *NIX architectures.
    The single biggest problem, near as I can see, is that businesses (at least, large businesses) absolutely require long-term agreements, perspective and predictability, and that is something that is diametrically opposed to the way Apple operates.


    Software can be written, but maybe there is a chicken and egg thing going on here? Maybe some businesses won't make the jump to Macs because certain software doesn't exist, and these software vendors won't write Mac versions because these businesses haven't made the jump to Macs?

    I agree with what you have written here, this might be an addendum to the higher entry costs point - the other stuff that goes with operating in the Mac/Apple universe.

  1. blahblahbber

    Banned

    Joined: 02-01-05

    Originally Posted by ShaddimView Post


    Why would I care what the government thinks or what they're willing to back? I'm going to run it as efficiently as I can without breaking the law. :err: If an office can work productively with 5 people, why would any savvy business owner employ 6 or 7? What you're saying makes little sense.

    Not every business owner can come and pay out of pocket for expenses. When you need loans, inspections, council approvals, etc... I mean, you may want to expand sooner than later, right?

    More folks employed adds to the resume when overcoming an inevitable future political obstacle. That is all I am saying. Your right about this savvy talk... just needed real clarity due to general previous statement(s) made on your behalf. Now what? ok

  1. blahblahbber

    Banned

    Joined: 02-01-05

    Originally Posted by besson3cView Post


    I guess the "one-sided" point was lost on you.

    What about from the vantage point of a small business owner? Being able to operate with less overhead allows the owner to maximize his/her profits, and potentially hire more in other areas.

    True, but speaking back to the original regard as to OSX vs other platforms for business... I believe keeping jobs is just as important, and in even more important to uncle sammy. Who wouldn't love more revenue generation than that big lug??

  1. Shaddim

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 04-11-03

    Originally Posted by blahblahbberView Post

    Not every business owner can come and pay out of pocket for expenses. When you need loans, inspections, council approvals, etc... I mean, you may want to expand sooner than later, right?
    More folks employed adds to the resume when overcoming an inevitable future political obstacle. That is all I am saying. Your right about this savvy talk... just needed real clarity due to general previous statement(s) made on your behalf. Now what? ok



    So, they can afford to pay the salaries, benefits, and additional taxes on 1 or 2 more people, but can't shell out the cash difference between PCs and Macs, and can't afford more productive software? Damn, this business has already gone under. I'll call the lawyer, you lock the door on your way out. :lol:

    Why would anyone hire people because of "an inevitable future political obstacle'? Why would it be inevitable? Not everyone runs for office, few do. How does having 7 people instead of 5 make you a more attractive candidate? In fact, I would think it would hurt you, since it shows you can't properly manage resources.

    "Now what"? Well, now we can say with 100% certainty that you've never run a business and have no idea what it entails. Furthermore, your arguments make no sense at all.

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