Apple’s core calling is “creating the next cool thing for the world’s consumers.” Apple practices what it preaches and succeeds at it too.
The month of March changed a lot of things for Apple, in terms of fading resistance for Mac. Mac sales reported an enormous 51% increase compared to the previous year. This is said to be three times the rate for the personal-computer industry. These figures are excluding that of the iPod and iPhone. Adding them would bring Apple’s sales from $5.2 billion in the year 2002 to $24 billion last year. Even the share prices have seen a rise.
The reason for this is the millions of consumers that are looking at the Mac in a new light. Once only favored by artists and students, today the Mac is fast becoming the first choice of many.
The Mac revolution is also slowly making its way into the corporate world, with employees increasingly insisting that employers provide them Macs to work on. Google is always said to have given its employees the power to choose any system they want. Now even IBM and Cisco are running tests to see if they should allow Macs into their offices. The Mac always had fans who would sing its praises, but now even the mainstream users are learning the song.
There are several reasons why Macs make sense in the corporate world. With Apple’s share jumping to more than 10% in the consumer PC market, and with consumer applications from chat to Facebook entering the office environment, more businesses consider notebook PCs for their personal use as well as for work, and many choose Apple’s MacBooks.
Software evaluation analysts say that Apple’s operating system, the OS x, is superior to Microsoft Windows by many metrics, including its design, efficiency, bug-free operation, and the fact that it is less vulnerable to viruses and hackers.
Analysts predict that in time most of the office work will be done using Web-based applications, as opposed to storing programs on hard drives. That trend will reduce the need for Windows PCs. Even the disaffection with vista could prove to be a positive factor for the Mac.
Research showed that colleges are also seeing an increase in Mac users and of all the students who want laptops, at least 42% want a Mac (it was 8% in 2003.)
Another advantage is the ability to run Windows on a Mac. Since the time Apple adopted Intel’s microprocessors for its computers, Windows could be run on Macs too. A Mac can also use both the Mac operating system and Windows at the same time by using the virtualization software, and switching between them is easy. These kinds of improvements are the main reason why people are shifting to Macs. The ability to run Windows makes the Mac a perfect solution for many.
Looking at the drawbacks that Mac still faces, it will find it difficult to gain ground in much bigger companies, because of their intricate information technology systems and fixed rules. Many big companies still have objections to Macs. Just as having both PCs and Macs at home is a headache, supporting both in corporations entails more training for employees as well as having separate Mac support staff. There are also software limitations, such as some industrial-grade programs that cannot run on Macs.
Last but not the least in any sense, is the cost factor. The regular PC costs have come down while the cost of Macs has gone up. Not only that, one of the most affordable models, the iMac comes with a built-in screen and since monitors last longer than the computer itself, this is an issue with the budget conscious buyers.
However, we must appreciate the fact that none of these concerns seem to have affected Apple from being a success in the consumer market. Trends are on Apple’s side, with all the college kids swearing by iPods, they create a deep pool of potential Mac users. This is the reason Apple is not much concerned about dominating the corporate market. It also knows very well that entering into the corporate market will be costly and will not help with its short-term financial goals.
For now Apple is happy with the profits from consumers and students.
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