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iPhone: Apple’s Trojan horse into the business world

Apple iPhone iPad Mac Corporate

Apple’s iPhone has not only become the company’s best-selling device, but also a useful weapon for the company in its “attack” on the corporate world. The iPhone seems to have acted as a “gateway drug” that convinced businesses to consider investing in other Apple hardware including iPads and Macs. Citing a study from Forrester Research, The Wall Street Journal says that by 2015 Apple is expected to win 11% of global business and government spending on tablets and computers, up from 1% in 2009 and 8% in 2012 – and those numbers do not include iPhone purchases.

The publication offers various examples of businesses that were sort-of forced to turn to Apple products, after allowing their employees to choose their own mobile devices, which was in many cases an iPhone or an iPad. Businesses then invested in Macs, even though they’re more expensive than Windows-based PCs. At Cisco, 25% of the company’s 35,000 provided laptops are MacBooks, and the costs are about even with Windows devices “after taking into account factors like maintenance and support,” and the life of the machine, one Cisco exec said. Furthermore, 75% of the 70,000 mobile devices supported by Cisco are iPhones and iPads.

Other companies that employ one or more Apple devices cited by The Journal include LG&E and KU Energy LLC, Kentucky’s biggest electric utility, Nordstrom Inc, Urban Outfitters and Alex and Ani.

Global share of corporate and global PC and tablet purchases | Image credit: The Wall Street Jouranl

Companies have quickly figured out how to make the best use of the mobility and smart features offered by Apple’s mobile devices, developing their applications to deal with several day-to-day business tasks or relying on software from third-parties. Business software providers including and SAP AG have said that most of their mobile apps are installed on iPhones and iPads. Mobile security software provider Good Technology says that more than 90% of all business apps were deployed on iOS devices in the third quarter of 2013.

“People start with the iPhone. It’s the tip of the spear,” JAMF Software LLC chief executive Chip Pearson told the publication. The company helps companies deploy Apple products saying that its software is now found on five times more Apple devices than three years ago. A report from a software company in December showed how small and medium businesses also predominantly choose the iPhone.

An earlier report revealed how Google, one of Apple’s main rivals, insists that employees choose an OS X computer rather than anything else – thus, Google’s business PC fleet is heavily dominated by Macs. Speaking of Google, its mobile OS is apparently also growing in popularity with businesses, as it allows for more choice in prices and specifications than Apple, The Journal says.

The increased popularity of Apple devices in the corporate world may also explain why the company is currently rumored to be working on bigger smartphones, but also a bigger iPad – dubbed as the iPad Pro – that could be welcomed by corporations.

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.