This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS - See his portfolio and get alerts BEFORE every trade. Learn more NOW!

Apple's Tortured Relationship with the Enterprise

In October, 2001 Apple launched the iPod. I was in the room when Steve Jobs pulled the first iPod out of his pocket and gleamed at us. This was a new beginning. From that day on, Apple was able to get on the consumer bandwagon and appeal to individual purchase authority. If a product were very cool and well made and simple and fun, out came the individual's credit card. That has been Apple's mantra and key to success ever since.

Back to the enterprise. When it came to selling Macs of any kind, Apple was, in my impression, carefully treading so that it could dance its own dance. What was at stake was innovation. By that I mean that businesses and government can be plodding -- and demanding all at the same time.

While Microsoft catered to those businesses, Apple knew that it had to move relentlessly forward with technology in order to claim that it makes the very best products. Today, we need only look at the organizations still using Windows XP, even though Microsoft and the U.S. government have pleaded with them to leave that 14-year-old OS behind.

The Influence of Steve Jobs

Very often, the Apple federal and enterprise sales teams would look to the charisma and influence of Jobs to inspire a customer in special executive briefings on the Apple campus. These were customers critical to Apple's business sales.

Sometimes it worked very well, but there were times when Jobs declined to intervene with his influence. It's possible he sensed that a particular technical area was unwise for Apple to pursue, like supercomputing and compute clusters. Plus, there were probably times when he was vey focused on his pet projects, like the iPad and iPhone, and he felt that if his sales team were really, really good, they could close the deal without him.

Finally, as I mentioned above, there's always that enterprise demon -- businesses and government want stability and long-term commitments. That's something Apple couldn't engage in if it were to stay in the business of radical advances in consumer technology.

Apple's approach has generally been to put great products out there while moving forward briskly. If an organization embraces those Apple products, all's well. But if an organization thinks it can obtain concessions from Apple by making high-value purchases, that generally hasn't worked out well. All this explains why Apple pursues the enterprise on its own terms and why there are organizations that embrace Apple and those that consider Apple products and services (or lack thereof) unsatisfactory for their broad enterprise needs.

2 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Try it NOW
Only $9.95
Try it NOW
14-Days Free
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
AAPL $128.46 0.00%
FB $78.97 0.00%
GOOG $558.40 0.00%
TSLA $203.34 0.00%
YHOO $44.28 0.00%


DOW 18,132.70 -81.72 -0.45%
S&P 500 2,104.50 -6.24 -0.30%
NASDAQ 4,963.5270 -24.3630 -0.49%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs