Can Macs beat PCs in the corporate world?

Apple computers are making big gains with business customers, helped by a "halo effect" from the tech leader's ubiquitous iPhones and iPads

Steve Jobs shows off the MacBook Air: Sales of Apple computers continue to grow faster than PCs in the business market, despite their premium prices.
(Image credit: Kimberly White/Corbis)

The iPad and iPhone may get all the buzz, but Apple's recent success has extended to another item: the Mac. Sales of Apple computers have grown faster than sales of PCs for the last five years, according to a new report by analyst Charles Wolf of Needham & Co. Businesses, in particular, have been buying more Macs, with sales up 66 percent last quarter, compared with 4.5 percent growth for the industry overall. Does this mean the Mac vs. PC rivalry is heating up in the corporate world — and that Macs could win?

Apple's gains will continue: The "halo effect" from the iPod, iPhone, and iPad should help Macs "continue to grow faster than the PC market," says the analyst Charles Wolf, as quoted by AppleInsider. And that's despite the "premium prices" Apple charges for its computers, compared to Windows-based PCs. But you can bet on one thing: The success of Macs is no short-term "blip" — it's "emerging as a durable pattern."

"Apple makes huge inroads in enterprise as corporate Mac sales surge 66%"

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Actually, Apple will remain a corporate "afterthought": It may seems like "the Apple juggernaut is unstoppable," but Macs still only make up "a measly 3 percent" of the business computer market, says Preston Gralla at Computerworld. Starting with such a low base makes it easier for Apple to "post eye-popping percent gains," but it doesn't mean that growth is sustainable — especially as cheaper tablets and netbooks flood the market. "Why spend several thousands dollars for a Mac when you can get similar work done with a $500 tablet?"

"Apple's Mac growth in the enterprise against Windows isn't sustainable"

And security concerns about Macs are rising: More Mac users are reporting that their computers are infected with a new trojan horse called Mac Defender, says Brian X. Chen at CNN. Macs have long been viewed as "safer" than PCs —not because of any real superiority, but because they have a much smaller share of the market, and are thus a less appealing target for hackers. But this new outbreak is bound to renew "a timeless debate on the state of Macintosh security versus Windows."

"New malware revives Mac vs. Windows security debate"

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