Apple: Still a Mac company now?

While crowing this week over its record quarterly sales of 3.47 million Macs in its latest fiscal reports, Apple opened up a bit on who's buying the iPhone 4 and iPad. Of course, they are Windows users.

While crowing this week over its record quarterly sales of 3.47 million Macs in its latest fiscal reports, Apple opened up a bit on who's buying the iPhone 4 and iPad. Of course, they are Windows users.

Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook pointed to the deployment of iPhones in the enterprise, a market that is certainly Windows country.

If you look at the iPhone, we’re now up to more than 80 percent of the Fortune 100 that are deploying or piloting the iPhone, and we also see very good momentum in the Fortune 500. In fact, over 60 percent of the Fortune 500 are deploying or piloting iPhone. This is also transcending into education institution, and we see around 400 higher education institutions, which have included the iPhone for faculty, staff and students.

And on the iPad front, it appeared to be a similar story.

The iPad, very surprisingly in the first quarter, during the first 90 days we already have 50 percent of the Fortune 500 that are deploying or testing the iPad. This is incredible. That is the Fortune 100, excuse me.

Of course, the iPhone and iPad aren't Mac products, nor are they designed to connect only to Macs. Rather, these devices are their own iOS platform that can connect to either Macs or PCs. Apple makes software for Mac and Windows hosts that support the Apple mobile Internet and AV content devices.

My ZDNet colleague Mary-Jo Foley at All About Microsoft just posted about buying her first Apple product. This decision wasn't an easy one for her and she had to overcome the Wintel derision often voiced by Mac fans. Or as she put it: "the negative, hostile and condescending interactions with not just Apple fanboys, but regular Apple users."

But the lure of the iPad was too much for even her.

Microsoft has promised that its partners have some cool slates running Windows 7 coming this year. If  they’re out there, they’ve waited too long to show/leak them. If I had felt there was a compelling Windows slate that would ship this year, I’d have refrained happily from buying an iPad.

At Microsoft’s consumer showcase in New York in June, there were lots of Windows 7 PCs on display, but not a single slate. (When I asked one Microsoft evangelist why I shouldn’t buy an iPad, he retorted “You have five hundred bucks. Go  buy one” instead of offering me anything concrete to convince me otherwise.) I say show me a Windows 7 slate with 10+-hour battery life, instant on/off (i.e., hibernation that really works), and an interface that is as fun and responsive as the iPad’s and I’d still consider buying one.

Sure you would ... not! After making an investment in time, content and software in the iPad, will users really move off the iPad platform and onto a Wintel slate with fewer programs and less support? Maybe not.

Later in the Apple analyst call, Cook responded to a question about the analyst refrain over the past few months that there would be significant cannibalization of Mac purchases by the iPad. The question asked whether instead, the Mac might see a halo effect from the iPad. Remember that more than half of the customers buying new Macs in the Apple retail stores are Windows users.

... I do agree that I think most people external to Apple focus on cannibalization has been negative, and internally we are focused on exactly the opposite the synergy between both technically and from a demand point of view. If you look at the iPod historically, all of the people here felt that the iPod created a halo for the Mac, and in fact as the iPod volumes kick off you will see a dramatic change in the Mac sales back in time that we experienced.

And so could that happen on iPhone and iPad. You know, we’ll see. I don’t want to predict it but I do think that with our Mac share, the Mac has outgrown the market 17 straight quarters.

However, the Mac share is still low and so there is still an enormous opportunity for the Mac to grow and certainly the more customers we can introduce to Apple through iPads and through iPhones and through iPods, you would think that there would might be some synergy with the Mac there, and there may be synergy between the iPad and the iPhones and so on and so forth and so that’s the way that we look at it internally instead of the negative although I know everybody is more focused on the negative piece of it. You know, this is for it’s great to be to have a lower share because if it turns out that the iPad cannibalizes PCs that I think it’s fantastic for us because there is a lot of PCs to cannibalize. It’s still a big market.

Welcome to Apple, Ms. Foley. Your Mac is waiting for you.

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