Apple is seeing increased success in selling its wares to large corporations thanks to the iPhone, reports The Wall Street Journal. A number of Apple products have acted as "halos" over the years, selling to first-time Apple owners and seeing that penetration lead to sales of more products.
The iPod helped drive Mac adoption with consumers, particularly amongst college students, but the iPhone is the most successful product in Apple's history and has driven tremendous amounts of Mac and iPad sales. One-quarter of Cisco's company-provided notebooks are Macs following that company's decision to allow employees to choose which platform they preferred.
Many companies are deploying custom applications for iPhones and iPads, with the iPhone often being Apple's first foothold in a business.
LG&E and KU Energy LLC, Kentucky's biggest electric utility ... approved the iPhone for employees in 2010. It then introduced iPads, and built apps such as one to help its helicopter patrollers survey 5,500 miles of high-voltage power lines. Using an iPad's global-positioning system, patrollers can pinpoint the location of a problem and select from a menu of common issues, such as a damaged pole or an overgrown tree.
"For years, we looked for some way to automate this and we heard all sorts of fairy tales, but we could never find anything," said Robby Trimble, LG&E and KU's manager of transmission-line services.
Now, the utility's engineers who run power plants use iPads to record how much electricity is generated. Warehouse managers use the tablet to scan bar codes and track the utility's tools and materials.
Forrester says Apple accounts for 8 percent of global business and government spending on computers and tablets -- that number does not include the iPhone -- and could rise to 11 percent by 2015.
Apple executives frequently mention enterprise adoption and custom app development in earnings release conference calls with analysts, touting large corporate adoptions of iOS devices and how companies are using internally developed apps. The company also has large websites profiling how businesses are using both the iPhone and iPad.