updated 02:34 am EST, Wed January 29, 2014
Years after discontinuing enterprise products, post-PC era reaps benefits
Largely overlooked by analysts and investors obsessed with Apple's iPhone segment -- to the exclusion of otherwise strong revenues and growth -- were new numbers on Apple's penetration of the enterprise market, which has seen tremendous growth in the latest figures. Bolstered by BlackBerry's unravelling and a shift towards letting employees use their own preferences for mobile devices, Apple completely dominates the mobile enterprise market.
Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer revealed that the iPhone is now at 97 percent share among Fortune 500 companies, and in 91 percent of the Global 500. The numbers for the iPad are equally impressive: 98 percent of the Fortune 500 are using Apple's tablet, and 93 percent of the Global 500 are as well.
Obliterating even the iPad's dominance of the consumer tablet market, the iPad made up 90 percent of all corporate tablet activations, and the iPad accounts for 78 percent of the total US enterprise market (a figure that includes the government and educational institutions). The iPhone held a 59 percent marketshare in the overall US enterprise market --but more tellingly, Apple's iOS platform accounted for 95 percent of all app activations, suggesting that alternative platforms used in enterprise are not much engaged with the Internet. Apple's numbers in enterprise were referred to as "unbelievable" by CEO Tim Cook.
Oppenheimer mentioned a number of corporations that use "tens of thousands" of iPhones, including two that have "50,000 iPhones each" -- business analysts Deloitte, and defense and utility contractor GE. Other companies mentioned as big iPhone users were American Airlines and Cisco, among others. Large enterprise iPad customers included British Airways and the National Football League, along with Kindred Healthcare, reports Business Insider.
Noticed by a current Electronista editor who put his time in the military was the mention by Oppenheimer that iOS 7 had qualified for FIPS 140-2 certification, a crucial qualification for many military contractors that might want to buy iPhones. Also mentioned were additional enterprise features added to iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks, the combination of which may clear the way for more Apple product use in military circles.
Cook acknowledged, however, that competitors were also working to make or keep their products competitive in the enterprise arena, noting that the business area is a "longer road" to contracts and rewards than the consumer market. He did add, however, that "I think we've done a lot of the groundwork, as you can tell from these numbers that I've given you, and I would expect that it would have more and more payback in the future."