updated 05:55 pm EDT, Tue August 22, 2006
Apple "a niche player"
A niche market will mark the extent of Apple's clout with regard to big business, according to senior research analyst Carmi Levy of Info-Tech. "The reality is, long term, Apple will always be a niche player," Levy said. "Even with the switch to Intel, Apple is not threatening the hegemony of the Intel-based Windows PC." Levy also believes Apple's traditional enterprise niches -- including graphics, advertising, and creative departments -- have weakened in recent years, according to a report from Computer World Canada.
Windows alternatives to Apple have gained maturity as IT managers have continued to push for greater standardization. The analyst believes Apple can secure its niches in the corporate market with Boot Camp, allowing IT departments to more easily support Mac systems which were falling victim to standardization efforts.
Despite easier support from IT departments, Levy thinks enterprises won't simply swap their PCs out for Macs en masse. The analyst admits Apple will likely see market share gains as small and medium-sized businesses adopt Macs in favor of PCs due to less support resources and increased sensitivity to security issues, however.
"Small to medium-sized businesses might be more predisposed to looking at Apple architecture on the desktop and being a little more comfortable moving lock, stock and barrel over to it," said Levy.