Enterprise Hardware Market Would Shrink Without Apple

In another demonstration of just how much things have changed for Apple, Forrester Research issued a report on Monday that said the Enterprise hardware market would have shrunk in 2012 if it weren't for Apple. The research firm is estimating that this market will grow 1.7 percent in 2012, but that if you took Apple's sales to Enterprise out, we'd be looking at a rare year-over-year decrease in IT hardware spending.

Apple Sales Chart

Once upon a time, Apple wasn't even an afterthought in Enterprise, but two things have combined to change this: the explosion of Apple's iPhone and iPad and the proliferation of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies at many large corporations.

According to the report, which was covered by The New York Times, business spending on iPads will increase some 76 percent in calendar 2012 to almost US$10 billion. Spending on Macs will also increase some 9 percent to $7.6 billion, and together the two product categories will more than offset what is otherwise expected to be a "dismal year" for IT hardware.

Forrester's also included BYOD reimbursement to employees who bring in their own devices.

Spending on Windows computers will decline 3 percent year-over-year to $124.1 billion—Forrester said that it does not believe Windows 8, which is scheduled for release this fall, will breathe new life into the Enterprise market despite hopes to the contrary in the sector.

Unlike Windows, but like iOS and OS X, spending on Linux and Android devices is also on the rise. Forrester is estimating that sales of these devices to Enterprise will increase 52 percent to $5.9 billion.

We should note that combined, that's less than spending on either Macs or iPads, meaning that Apple is a much larger player in the Enterprise market than either open source platform.