John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Macs Continue to Claim More Office Space

Mac shipments grew faster than PC shipments for the 25th consecutive time during the June quarter. And while that growth was slower overall than it has been in the past, it continues to occur in areas like enterprise, where Apple has long been searching for inroads.

During the June quarter, Mac shipments to business in the U.S. grew 56.6 percent, even as overall PC sales slipped 8.8 percent, according to Needham analyst Charlie Wolf. Meanwhile, Mac business shipments worldwide increased 22.1 percent, amid a 4.5 percent decline in overall business PC sales. That’s significant growth, though the Mac is still far, far outdistanced by its enterprise rivals. In the U.S., the Mac’s share of the business market was just 5.9 percent in June — and that was an all-time high.

But growth is growth, and given the overall decline in the business PC market, the Mac is clearly gaining traction there. There are a few obvious reasons for this. First, Apple’s OS X operating system has become increasingly more business-friendly over the years, and now plays well with Windows applications, thanks to software like Boot Camp, Parallels and VMware’s Fusion. Second, the so-called “consumerization of IT,” which sees the rank and file acclimatizing enterprise to consumer devices like the iPad and iPhone, and opening the door for bigger hardware like the Mac.

As Wolf notes, Mac adoption in the business sector was pretty slow through 2007. But after? “Something did happen around the beginning of 2008 to propel Mac sales in the business market, and it seems reasonable to infer that it was Apple’s other products, most notably the iPhone and iPad, rather than the Mac itself that contributed to the significant share gains,” Wolf explains. “In our opinion, the role of the iPad cannot be overemphasized. Some observers estimate the iPad sales in the business market might represent up to half of all iPad sales.”

Now, Wolf is speculating a bit here, but that speculation seems reasonable, given recent statements from Apple. During the company’s last earnings call, it estimated that the number of iPads in use at the Fortune 500 had tripled over the past year, and the number of iPhones doubled. Said Wolf, “No doubt many mobile professionals purchased an iPhone for their personal use, which cast a favorable light on Apple’s app ecosystem. Arriving in April 2010, the iPad undoubtedly reinforced the more positive perception of Apple products, encouraging some IT professionals to consider the Mac in their purchasing decisions.”

Correction: An early version of this post incorrectly identified Parallels as a VMware product.

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