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Why Business Won't Buy Apple

Its users are zealots. Its technical sophistication, ease of use, and level of innovation have long put it ahead of other computer makers and, now, it's arguably out-innovating the smartphone market. Yet more than half of businesses have no plans to buy Apple's computers and more than 70% have no plans to buy iPhones.
Its users are zealots. Its technical sophistication, ease of use, and level of innovation have long put it ahead of other computer makers and, now, it's arguably out-innovating the smartphone market. Yet more than half of businesses have no plans to buy Apple's computers and more than 70% have no plans to buy iPhones.In a survey of 310 business technology professionals, InformationWeek finds 37% of companies currently use Mac computers. Yet Apple can't make a dent in corporate America -- by one estimate it has just a 3% worldwide market share in computers.

Our survey helps explain why the company isn't making more inroads into a market that could be so lucrative:

  • Apple's ecosystem of software and developers is too small (64%)
  • Perceived difficulty (52%) in integrating Macs into corporate America's Windows-centric infrastructure.
  • A small installed base and therefore a limited track record in business (41%)

These factors likely explain why more than half (54%) of companies have no plans to buy Macs in the next 6-12 months, even though 44% of these same companies believe Apple products are more innovative than competing wares and offer greater ease of use and management (43%). Among nearly three-quarters of Mac users, the platform makes up less than one-third of their computing infrastructure.

Apple's newly launched iPhone is viewed as a strong alternative to other smartphones, including RIM's BlackBerry -- 60% say iPhone's integration of so many functions is an advantage, and 53% say it has at least some advantages over BlackBerrys.

Despite its strengths, the iPhone will have minimal impact in business; 71% of companies say they haven't purchased and aren't considering iPhones. Why?

  • Apple's use of an exclusive carrier -- AT&T -- turns off many businesses (69%)
  • Cost (64%)
(The survey was completed after the $200 price cut on iPhone)

The previously referenced New York Times column also notes that Apple's retreat from corporate sales and its history of retail missteps are continuing to undercut the company in business, despite the opening left by Microsoft's painful transition to Windows Vista.

Editor's Choice
Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor
Richard Pallardy, Freelance Writer
Carrie Pallardy, Contributing Reporter
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author
Carlo Massimo, Contributing Writer
Salvatore Salamone, Managing Editor, Network Computing