Listen up, people! You’ve been Apple’s primary customer for a very long time, but your days of hogging all the attention are over. Initially, Apple wanted to make gadgets that helped ordinary people, but of late, their ‘ideal customer’ tag seems to have gone to another group — the corporations!
Over the past few years, Apple has seen a steady increase in business-to-business (B2B) transactions. New York Times reports —
“Apple’s iPhones and iPads have become the preferred mobile computing devices for corporations, as industries from insurers to airlines aim to ditch bulky PCs and give their employees the ability to do their jobs from anywhere using smartphones or tablets.”
But, what prompted this move? Why has the common man fallen from Apple’s grace?
This may have something to do with the sale of Apple’s two most popular products — the iPhones and MacBooks — and the decline they’ve started witnessing after being unchallenged for nearly a decade. As a result, Apple’s core group seems to be moving away from the common man and towards business houses. Furthermore, they’ve also discovered that this new group is very fond of yet another gadget – the iPad Pro.
A US market research firm, Forrester, says that “nearly half of all iPads are now bought by corporations and governments.”
The NY Times report goes on to point that this shift is because of the ecosystem that Apple provides, something that the combination of Samsung-Android-Microsoft fails to do.
“Companies are turning to Apple’s products for their tight-knit hardware and software, advanced security features and intuitive interfaces. Aiding Apple’s corporate sales has been a concern that phones and tablets running Google’s Android software, which are generally cheaper and popular with consumers, have lagged in the security technology and the standardization that companies want.”
Obviously, Apple is grabbing this opportunity with both hands. It has started “camps” at their headquarters in California to train techies on developing custom apps for large corporations. However, for the kind of demand that’s being projected, these boot camps are not nearly enough. Consequently, Apple has also started pairing up with other companies that specialise in developing corporate apps.
Having corporate customers has its advantages and disadvantages. But for now, it looks like the constant demand they can provide for Apple products is too lucrative a chance for Cupertino to pass on. Understandably, Apple will do all that it can to stay afloat and stay relevant in a market that’s unforgivingly competitive.
But what will it mean for the good-old Apple customer? Will we see a dip in the quality of products being manufactured for the masses? Is the recent, underwhelming “new” MacBook Pro a sign of things to come?
Only time will tell…