Forrester: Apple Up, Microsoft Down in Corporate Market Share

A new report by Forrester Research suggests the growing business adoption of Apple iPads and Macs is displacing Microsoft's grip on the corporate market with PCs.

The report, "Global Tech Market Outlook for 2012 and 2013," tracks spending on IT products and services. It projects spending on PCs, servers and software, as well as consulting, system integration and outsourcing services.

Forrester points to Apple's enterprise ascendance as one potential disrupter in the IT market. The report notes that Apple doesn't provide public information about the business-to-consumer use ratio of their purchased hardware products. Forrester came up with its own estimate of Apple's corporate market share: Apple was expected to have sold $6 billion each of Macs and iPads to companies in 2011. The report predicts those figures will rise to $9 billion Macs and $10 billion iPads in 2012. In 2013, those numbers will hit $12 billion and $16 billion, respectively.

In contrast to those figures, over the next two years, there will be a decrease in corporate spending on Windows-based PCs and tablets. Corporate "Wintel" spending will decrease by 3 percent in 2012 and 1 percent in 2013, according to the report.

Apple's projected rise in the corporate market is considered to be a "surprise" by the report's authors because Apple doesn't do much marketing in that segment.

The report also downplayed cloud computing, or the deployment of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), as a growing IT trend. "Yes, the cloud will be big -- but in 2016, not in 2012," the report states.

Cloud spending on IaaS, Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS) remains somewhat low right now, the authors contend. The report poured cold water on the idea that small business love using SaaS, saying that they don't because they fear hanging their business operations on their Internet connections.

IT Economics in the Near Term
According to the report, global IT spending grew nearly 10 percent in 2011, but a slowdown to 5 percent is expected in 2012. A rebound is predicted for 2013, with IT spending expected to rise to 8 percent. This rollercoaster effect is attributed to damping effects on growth, mostly associated with Europe's economic situation. The report predicts a European economic recovery in 2013 that may accelerate global markets.

The United States will still represent the biggest market for IT services and products in 2012. The overall U.S. IT market is expected to be worth $807 billion total at that time, according to Forrester's report. However, it won't be the fastest growing market. China has that distinction, with a projected 14 percent growth rate in 2012, according to the report. The U.S. projected growth rate, by contrast, is expected to be 7 percent in that year.

New global technology purchases will total $2,122 billion in 2012, according to the report. The biggest chunk of that total will be software purchases, constituting 25 percent at $529 billion. Computer equipment purchases will place second, representing 21 percent of purchases at $438 billion. Next are consulting and system integration services at $427 billion, or 20 percent of expected purchases.

The report also looks at the data based on local currencies. The authors recommend that vendor pros use that approach in estimating markets. Doing so affects the valuations in the report.

Much more analysis can be found in the report, located at Forrester's site here.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.