Analyst: iPhone Key to Apple's Move into Enterprise

Apple hasn't had the greatest success so far at breaking into the enterprise market, but the iPhone may just be the foot in the door the company needs, according to Broadcom analyst Brian Marshall.

"Despite a lackluster attempt to penetrate the enterprise infrastructure market via servers, we believe Apple has found its 'recipe for success' for generating material sales from this relatively untapped market opportunity: the iPhone," Mr. Marshall said.

Once employees start using iPhones, many will want to use Macs at work, too, and that's key to the company's drive into the enterprise market. "In our view, the iPhone represents Apple's 'Trojan horse' as its brings along client computing requests as well. Not only are workers in enterprise environments demanding iPhone support, they now want to use their Macs as well," he said.

The iPhone has already started its penetration into the corporate world, potentially opening the door for more Macs in the workplace. Even though the combination iPod and smartphone is just over two years old, three U.S. government agencies have deployed over 30,000 iPhones each, and 19 different Fortune 100 companies have deployed more than 10,000 iPhones each, according to Mr. Marshall.

How well Apple leverages its opportunity to push deeper into the corporate world, however, remains to be seen. Apple has historically been secretive about new products, which is a hinderance to corporate IT purchasing schedules, and the company doesn't have a strong track record yet for corporate support. If Apple can overcome those obstacles, its iPhone momentum could help boost enterprise-level Mac sales.

Mr. Marshall is rating Apple's stock as "Buy" with a US$210 target price. Apple is currently trading at $165.98, up 3.15 (1.93%).