Apple still really hasn’t figured out how to make it big in the enterprise—even though it’s having a lot of accidental luck there as employees bring in their own iPhones, iPads and Macs.But it doesn’t care. It’s banking that the Bring Your Own Device trend will continue and that it won’t need to cater to IT departments. And that’s a shame for a lot of reasons.
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster—who predicts that Apple shares will hit $1,000—says that Apple is taking the “long road” toward enterprise adoption.
In a research note issued today, he writes:
“We believe that Apple thinks about the consumer and enterprise opportunities as significantly different verticals. If Apple’s intent was to dominate the enterprise markets, we believe the company would employ a meaningfully different sales and marketing strategy.“
For instance, Apple isn’t interested in offering a lot of long-term support for older operating systems. But enterprises often want to stick with what works. Many are still using Windows XP and only now moving to Windows 7, even though XP is more than a decade old.
Plus Apple doesn’t really have a clue on how to deal with malicious hackers. As it gets more popular, it is attracting more interest from people keen on exploiting security holes.
Apple botched its first really big challenge: When a researcher reported to Apple that it had found 600,000 infected Macs working together in a hacker botnet, Apple tried to shut down the researcher.
Businesses want companies to quickly fix security flaws. So stories like that don’t make enterprises want to yank out Microsoft and spend millions with Apple instead.
Now, Apple hasn’t had to cater to business users … yet. It’s been focused on making the best products for consumers and letting those consumers bring their products to work.
But that is surely a missed opportunity. As Munster writes, “We do not expect Apple to make any significant changes on how it addresses the enterprise opportunity, thus it may still be a moderate road to majority market share at the corporate level in phones and longer road in computers. While we expect future iPhone and iPad growth in the enterprise, we don’t expect the Mac to have the same enterprise success.”