Mac sales surging in enterprise

'Halo effect' of iPads likely contributing to steep growth in corporate sales

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The overall percentage is still insignificant, but sales of Apple's Mac computers in the enterprise soared in the company's last fiscal quarter.

Apple Insider's Neil Hughes flagged some recent data compiled by Needham & Company analyst Charlie Wolf noting that Mac sales in the enterprise increased 66 percent in the company's fiscal second quarter ended March 26.

(Also see: Maybe Apple is a religion after all!)

That gives Macs only 3 percent of the enterprise PC market, but 1) that's the company's largest share since Q2 of 1997, and 2) the 66 percent growth rate stands in stark contrast to the 4.5 percent growth in second-quarter enterprise sales for all other PCs.

Hughes writes:

Broken down my market segment, Mac shipments grew 94.7 percent in the "very large business" category, 75.5 percent with "large businesses," 58.1 percent with "medium businesses," and 90.4 percent with "small businesses." All of those totals well exceeded growth in the overall PC market.

Macs also are making steep inroads into the government sector, posting 155.6 percent growth in Q2, versus a mere 2.3 percent for other PCs, Hughes notes.

What makes this even more interesting is that Macs cost more than PCs, yet more enterprises were willing to spring for the Apple computers in Q2, despite an economy that has forced companies to tighten their budgets. Yes, corporate spending may be up from a year ago, but no one's exactly writing blank checks to computer manufacturers.

So what's driving this surge? In a word, the iPad. Apple COO Tim Cook said as much during the Q2 earnings conference call in April, citing the tablet's "halo effect." The iPad has infiltrated the corporate market in a big way since its introduction in April 2010 as executives have brought their own Apple tablets into the office and companies have begun buying them for workers.

It'll be interesting to see if the trend continues in Q3.

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