Apple becoming a serious player in enterprise

Forrester Research forecasts big growth in enterprise sales of Apple hardware

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Apple's slow, almost surreptitious infiltration of the enterprise may turn into a full-blown invasion, according to Forrester Research.

In its Global Tech Market Outlook for 2012 and 2013 (only $2,495!), Forrester forecasts that Apple will sell $10 billion worth of iPads to businesses and governments in 2012, a total that could climb to $16 billion by 2013.

That's compared to the $6 billion of iPads forecast to be sold to businesses and government in 2011 and the $2 billion in 2010, when the Apple tablet made its debut.

According to All Things Digital, which either has $2,495 laying around for research reports or was just handed the damned thing, Forrester is somehow "surprised" by the trend, which it wouldn't have been if it read articles like this from nearly a year ago that chronicled Apple's successful, if inadvertent, incursions into the enterprise, started by the iPhone -- which kicked off the irreversible Bring Your Own Device work culture -- and accelerated by the iPad.

What's interesting, if not entirely surprising, is how Apple's new corporate halo is extending to the desktop. Forrester forecasts that enterprise sales of Macs, which were at $2 billion in 2009 (versus $61 billion for Wintel PCs), will grow to $9 billion in 2012 and $12 billion in 2013.

Adding it all up, we're talking about the percentage of Apple personal computing devices in enterprises growing from 8% in 2010 to 29% in 2013, based on Forrester's forecast.

Eight percent is marginal; 29% makes you a player. And Apple appears to be headed for "player" status in the enterprise, something it hadn't even planned on or ever really cared about.

I'm sure Microsoft finds all this thrilling.

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