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Whodathunk? IBM Helps Apple Inc. (AAPL) Bring Back the Mac

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Apple Inc. ’s Steve Jobs once referred to its computers as trucks of the technology world, but for the past several years, the firm has been neglecting Macs altogether. Their entire attention has been on two products – the iPhone and iPad – both of which are seeing tough times. Probably, for this reason, Apple is now trying to shore up the Mac.

IBM undergoing world’s largest Mac deployment

Mac, which presently has only a single-digit share in the corporate market, might turn into a growth business again with enterprise deployments. IBM started a program back in early 2015, offering Macs to its 400,000 workers as an option. And, as part of that program, is rolling out about 1,300 Macs to its employees per week, notes ZDNet. Who would have believed that of all the companies in the world, IBM would help bring back the Mac?

Apple Inc (AAPL) Computer

After about 1.5 years, more than 90,000 Macs have been deployed. And, by the end of 2016, the firm will cross 100,000, according to IBM’s Fletcher Previn. As per ZDNet, this will be the world’s largest Mac deployment.

Last week, at the Jamf conference, Previn said the Mac is the preferred choice of 73% of IBM employees. And, the firm faced no issues with accommodating it because it has found that the maintenance cost of Macs isn’t much. Last year, IBM said it was able to save $270 per user by using Mac. And, this year, they have raised the number $273-$543 per user over the four years.

Previn said that the PCs cost them 3 times more and generate twice as many support calls. “And this reflects the best pricing we’ve ever gotten from Microsoft.”

Mac represents massive revenue potential for Apple

IBM’s massive deployment is a good enough reason for Apple Inc. to reinvest in Mac. In recent years, the firm has focused on its iOS devices, but multiple reports suggest that Macs have been hugely successful when deployed in businesses. Apple launched the iPad Pro, hoping to shift some Mac users to tablets, but it did not see much success, notes ZDNet.

Also, the iPad has been experiencing a decline in sales that even iPad Pro could not make up for. Apple iPad sales dropped below 10m units in fiscal Q3 2016 that ended in June. This happened for the first time in past 20 quarters since Q3 2011. On the other hand, Mac unit sales after hitting peak in fiscal Q4 2015, have lagged the last three quarters. Much of this can be blamed on no new updates to the Macbook Pro and Mac Pro lines.

On Thursday, Apple Inc. is expected to launch new MacBook and MacBook Pro models. It remains to be seen whether Apple’s new attention to the Mac is a temporary one for just shoring up a part of its business, or it is looking at IBM’s big rollout as a signal that it can look to the Mac for growth if it reinvests in building computers.

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Aman is MBA (Finance) with an experience on both marketing and Finance side. He has work as a Risk Analyst for AIR Worldwide, and is currently leading VeRa FinServ, a Financial Research firm. Favorite pastimes include watching science fiction movies, playing PC games and cricket.

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