made headlines. But these quarterly sales may indicate more sustainable growth for the company in the enterprise.Apple's enterprise sales of Macintosh computers surged again last quarter, this time by 66%. Last June, a similar surge
According to Apple Insider, the company had 94.7% growth in very large businesses, 75.5% growth in large businesses and 155.6% growth in government. The company only saw 1% growth in education, but the overall PC market declined by 6.5% in education last quarter. This is growth from a very small percentage to another very small percentage - IDC estimates that Apple sales accounting for only 3% of new PC sales last quarter. But it's significant growth for Apple none the less.
What accounts for the growing number of companies purchasing significantly more expensive computers? One answer might security. And if that's the case, these companies may be in for a rude awakening.
Don't Cry Wolf, But Do Pay Attention: OSX Malware is a Real Threat
As reported by Ars Technica and many othes, a scareware application called MAC Defender has been circulating. ZDNet blogger Ed Bott claims that Apple's support forums indicate an "explosion" of OSX malware.
Last month, on the occasion of the discovery of a DIY malware-building kit for OSX, Bott predicted OSX malware was about to get much worse. This prediction landed him a place on Daring Fireball's post on the history of tech journalists crying wolf about Macintosh malware. Bott responded with a look at the number and nature of OSX's disclosed security flaws:
The argument goes, Windows users are victimized by drive-by downloads, and Macs are immune from those!
Sorry, but that's not true either. Like any modern operating system, OS X contains flaws that can be attacked fairly easily. That is why Apple updates it so regularly. Let's take just one recent example...
In Apple's security bulletin for the April 22, 2011 release of OS X 10.6.7, I counted 23 separate fixes for vulnerabilities that allow "arbitrary code execution" in the current shipping version of OS X. At least three of those vulnerabilities are new in Snow Leopard and did not exist in previous versions of OS X.
He also claimed out that the emergence of a malware-building kit for OSX was tipping point for OSX security.
MAC Defender is just one piece of malware. It isn't evidence that Bott is right the malware-building kit and it doesn't mean OSX is about to become the next Windows XP. But it should dampen the expectations of enterprises hoping that OSX will deliver them from malware.
The Recent History of Apple in the Enterprise
In recent months, Apple has amped up its enterprise sales by circulating new marketing materials to enterprises and hiring former RIM enterprise sales staff to sell iOS devices in the enterprise. The iPhone and the iPad have seen fast adoption in the enterprise, according sources such as Good Technology. AT&T claims that one in four iPhones are sold to enterprise users.