Should Apple Focus On Business?

from the why-bother dept

Well, this probably isn’t going to help my “anti-Mac” reputation, but here’s an article talking about how Apple needs to start focusing on business users. I’m not so sure that’s a great strategy, actually. The article points out that Apple seems to hope that the kids of today who use the cool new iMacs will become the business leaders of tomorrow, using Apple machines in the office – except that when they get to the office, the IT department hands them a PC. However, I’m not sure Apple focusing on the business market would do any good. It would take a lot of resources, and it’s not clear that they’d be solving much of a need. There’s a reason most offices use PCs – and that’s because most other offices use PCs. When you’re doing business with other offices, you generally want to have compatible technology. And, yes, I know that it’s not hard to use a Mac to view PC files and do PC things, but it simply complicates the matter one step further for an IT department – and most would rather not deal with it.

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Comments on “Should Apple Focus On Business?”

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1 Comment
Dale Gardner says:

You're right. However...

I’d agree that the business market isn’t one that Apple should pursue…at least not on its own. But there are different, more important, reasons than it would be expensive, or that Macs just don’t fit well.
We’ll dismiss the technology integration argument as irrelevant, at least for this discussion. It’s not as difficult to do as some would make out, but there is another layer of technology and that poses a sales barrier. Similarly, the cost and effort of pursuing a given market are important, but should not be the deciding factor – The more appropriate view is not whether I can pursue a market inexpensively, but profitably.
The more important reason is that Apple has precious little to offer the typical IT manager. If I’m putting machines on desktops, my primary motivation is cost – which is why PC makers, with little left to differentiate themselves but cost, are having such a hard time of it. If brand ‘a’ beige box is nearly identicle to brand ‘x’ beige box, all that’s left is cost. As a marketer, that’s a market I want to stay the hell away from at all costs.
The Apple strategy of pursuing the digital hub/home market, especially with the retail store component, seems sound. I’ve seen some grousing about an apparent plan to drop the think different slogan in favor of something like everything is easier with a Mac. There are lots and lots of people who would be interested in doing the things you can do with a Mac digital hub who don’t buy computers because they are too hard/don’t work. These people love easy – they don’t want to know about bits and bytes and speeds and feeds. They just want to do things. Apple has a great story for them.
As for business – there might be some ways to crack the market, but I’m not sure Apple has the skills or interest. They should talk with somebody like IBM that understands the market and can craft a meaningful value proposition.

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