Would Steve Jobs Believe Apple’s Enterprise Love?

Steve Jobs disliked the process of catering to business customers rather than those of retail consumers. He even called chief information officers in corporations “orifices” at a conference in 2005. “There are 500 men and women in the Fortune 500 — C.I.O.’s — that you have to go through,” Mr. Jobs said. However, the iPad and iPhone have given the Apple logo a presence in workplace that may finally challenge Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Dell (NASDAQ:DELL), and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ).

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) executives have boasted about the portion of Fortune 500 companies testing or deploying iPads and iPhones — 92 percent and 93 percent, respectively. Lowe’s (NYSE:LOW) says it bought about 42,000 iPhones for employees on store floors. Airlines have begun to use iPads to replace printed aircraft flight manuals. All of Alaska Airlines’ (NYSE:ALK) more than 1,400 pilots now have iPads. United and Continental Airlines (NYSE:UAL) started giving iPads to all 11,000 of their pilots in August. “You never heard those stats before,” said Gene Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray.

“The reason why is [Apple] struggled for decades, and finally they have a story to tell in the enterprise.” The iPad is even proving to be an attractive substitute for laptops in situations where portability and speedy access to information matters. Some of the technicians at Seimens Energy (NYSE:SI) have been using laptops to read manuals and run through checklists at work, but the devices are too bulky and take too long to boot up, said Tim Holt, chief executive of Service Renewables for Siemens Energy.

“One factor working in Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) favor is so-called consumerization, a broader trend in which companies become more responsive to consumer technologies like social media. Mr. Schofield said he had just gotten used to Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) way of doing business. They’re not an enterprise company and they’re up front about that,” reports The New York Times.