Why are analysts deaf to Apple’s enterprise growth story?

We’re looking at huge change in enterprise IT, and analysts don’t even ask the company behind that change to tell us more about it—even when Apple wants to talk

Apple, enterprise, iOS, mobile enterprise

What’s wrong with analysts? We’re looking at huge change in enterprise IT, and they don’t even ask the company behind that change to tell us more about it—even when Apple wants to talk.

What’s up with that?

I listened to Apple Q3 2017 call and was incredibly interested to learn a huge host of facts that represent just how much success Apple is having in the new mobile age of enterprise IT.

Apple is making it very clear it wants to talk about this.

“Our enterprise business continues to expand,” said Apple CFO Luca Maestri before announcing a huge range of stats and facts that would have been utterly and completely unlikely just a few years ago.

It was a missed opportunity.

While some analysts insisted on asking questions they know Apple won't answer (because it tells us it won’t), presumably to show they read the Apple blogs, they failed to get the company to tell us more about this hugely lucrative market that is becoming an important part of its overall business.

Isn't that the sort of information investors need to know?

Apple in the enterprise

Perhaps analysts should take a moment to read this blog? If they did, they’d know that change has already happened; Apple is no longer a bit part player in the enterprise markets, and its reach into enterprise IT continues to grow in the mobile age.

Which is why it’s lucky that, “initial response from businesses to iOS 11 and the new iPad Pro has been amazing,” said Maestri.

Apple revealed the following enterprise-related items:

  • Walmart will be deploying more than 19,000 iPads for employee training across 50 states.
  • Walmart expects over 225,000 associates will be trained on iPad by the end of the year.
  • Bank of America, Medtronic, and Panera are preparing to introduce 10.5-inch iPad Pros across key areas of their organizations.
  • Alluding to last month’s Cisco partnership news, Maestri claimed, “We believe this investment in our joint security solutions for iOS will make cyber insurance even more attainable for businesses.”
  • SAP shipped its first native iOS app for human resources, SuccessFactors Mobile, which will be used by 47 million iOS users worldwide across multiple industries.
  • The Deloitte partnership has recently expanded to several more European countries.

Ahead of the puck

Despite Apple’s attempt to get people talking about the segment, just one analyst even mentioned its existence, Piper Jaffray’s Michael Olson, who alluded to it in a question about ARKit.

Apple CEO Tim Cook responded to the question in more detail, but he noted “lots of excitement” among enterprise customers for ARKit.

“From entertainment to gaming, I've seen what I would call more small business solutions. I've seen consumer solutions. I've seen enterprise solutions. I think AR is big and profound, and this is one of those huge things that we'll look back at and marvel on the start of it,” he said.

I’m on record as saying that I believe the impact of ARKit will be huge—each time I take a look at it, I'm amazed at what is being made with the platform.

‘Look back and marvel’

The impact of Apple’s growing presence in the enterprise market will be equally profound. I think (and I suspect Apple also thinks) that this will also be one of those "huge things we’ll look back at and marvel on the start of it."

Mobile is critical, and Apple leads the market. It has now sold over 1.2 billion cumulative iPhones. Customers seem to like it. The latest 451 Research data claims a 95 percent customer satisfaction rating for iPhone 7 and 99 percent for iPhone 7 Plus.

That crazy-high product satisfaction isn’t just driving interest in consumer markets: Among corporate smartphone buyers, iOS customer satisfaction was 94 percent.

Surely members of the analyst community should ask more questions about this market in order to better understand the impact of Apple’s growing enterprise share? Alas, perhaps I expect too much.

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Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.

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