In May 2011, research firm IDC decided that iPads and other portable devices with ARM-based mobile chips would be categorised alongside Intel PC processors. This puts Apple in serious contention to become the leading portable computer vendor in 2012.
According to Taiwan’s DigiTimes, market research firms are predicting that sales will increase in 2012 to 80 million tablets (from 60 million in 2011), with Apple devices accounting for 60 million of them. Apple is also expected to ship 15 million MacBooks in 2012, giving it a combined 75 million units or between 25 to 30 percent share of the global notebook market.
So is Apple an enterprise-class vendor? In his November 2009 blog, John Pescatore, vice president and research fellow at Gartner, notes that Apple can never become an enterprise-class vendor until it addresses the security requirements of enterprises.
However, two events in 2011 may change this perception. The first is the unrelenting consumerisation of IT, which sees consumers forcing IT to finally allow personal devices to become part of the enterprise infrastructure. The second is Apple's declaration that it does understand the importance of security and has worked on securing its platform.
According to Netmarketshare, Apple is making headway as the preferred mobile platform, with the iOS operating system steadily gaining market share in the past year. Apple's positioning of iOS as a "cool" client computing operating system has attracted a group of loyal customers on its devices and platforms coupled with its continued innovation process.
What can business organisations do to roll out new technologies effectively and efficiently? Most organisations have long-entrenched deployment processes for operating systems, applications and software updates that are network-based, thus making it easier to deploy only one type of device across the entire enterprise, leaving no room for a variety of technologies. Nearly all business applications today are written for and developed specifically for the Windows operating environment, making it difficult traditionally for IT departments to provide Apple support in the enterprise.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.