Apple Sees Corporate Business Grow as PC Market Declines

Mergers and Acquisitions

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has made significant inroads into the corporate world over the past several years as more big businesses replace Windows-based PCs with iPads, reports The Wall Street Journal. According to Forrester Research data cited by the publication, Apple secured an 8 percent share of the total amount spent by companies and governments on computers and tablets around the world in 2012, up from 1 percent in 2009.

Although the business world has traditionally been dominated by PCs running Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows applications, the growing adoption of Web-based apps has made Apple products an increasingly viable option for companies. While Apple’s MacBooks still cost more than most PCs, many companies have discovered that the higher initial outlay is offset by the devices’ lower maintenance and support costs in the long term, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Apple has also benefited from the growing popularity of BYOD, or “bring your own device,” policies at many businesses. As noted by the Journal, almost 75 percent of smartphones and tablets used at work by Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) employees are now Apple devices after the company implemented a BYOD policy in 2009.

The overall popularity of Apple’s iPhone has also helped the California-based company establish a foothold in the corporate world. “People start with the iPhone,” JAMF Software Chief Executive Chip Pearson told The Wall Street Journal. “It’s the tip of the spear.”

JAMF Software is a company that makes enterprise management software for the Apple platform. According to Pearson, the number of Apple devices his business manages has increased fivefold over the past three years.

The increasing use of mobile apps has also given Apple an edge in enterprise usage. According to Good Technology data cited by The Wall Street Journal, Apple’s iOS accounted for more than 90 percent of business app activations in the third quarter among the company’s 5,000-plus corporate customer base.

But Apple isn’t just passively riding market trends. The iPhone maker has added several business-friendly features to its iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks operating systems. For example, it has introduced an App Store Volume Purchase Program with iOS 7 that lets businesses assign apps they purchase to individual users while still allowing them to retain full ownership of those apps. Per the Journal, Apple has also boosted security for its latest Mac operating system.

Thanks to its dominance of the tablet market, Apple will likely continue to see significant gains in the corporate world as the overall PC market continues to decline. Recently released data from market research firm Gartner showed that global PC shipments suffered the worst decline in history in the fourth quarter of 2013.

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