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Why Apple should have done more to capitalise on enterprise

Unlike consumers, businesses want to know what, exactly, will be in the next version of the product so that they can plan for it, test it, and deploy it to their employees. For Microsoft, this has never been a problem, but Apple has likely balked at telling its enterprise partners what glitzy features will make it into the next version of iOS and OS X.

Apple isn't very good at sharing what features are coming next to its operating systems

Apple isn't very good at sharing what features are coming next to its operating systems

"The Apple model continues to frustrate enterprises wanting to plan product transitions," the Gartner report continues. "Apple prioritises user experience over enterprise needs, but has recently increased focus on enterprises" – which is a good thing for its business – "[but], at the time of this writing … its impact is not yet clear."

Cloud capers

Apple struggles in other areas beyond being open with its partners. According to a report from The Information, a subscription-only website focused on original reporting, the company has long struggled with its cloud infrastructure projects.

The company recently moved to Google's cloud, leaving behind Microsoft, but this shows its reliance on other technology giants. "Apple's move to tap Google to handle parts of its iCloud traffic is a sign that the Cupertino company has failed to build its own cloud infrastructure despite years of work," the report reads.

The failure to build a competent infrastructure that can handle iCloud is, for a big company like Apple, embarrassing, and has not gone unnoticed by its clients, many of whom would choose Google, Microsoft, or Amazon over Apple for that reason.

It is also a lost source of revenue. If Apple had invested in cloud infrastructure, it could be running something similar to Amazon Web Services, which is on track to bring in $10 billion (around £7 billion, or AU$12.8 billion) per year, according to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. AWS is essentially an 'internet tax' according to Ben Thompson, an independent analyst. By offering cloud services for money, many startups and big companies are now reliant on Amazon.

Microsoft builds momentum

In this regard, even Microsoft has been slow to move but is making up for lost time with its Azure platform, which got top billing at its Build developer conference, held a few weeks ago. Alongside Azure, Microsoft is also building out its Windows on mobile offerings, enticing businesses with their ease of use and compatibility with Office, among other things.

It's unclear if this will have any effect on how Apple approaches the market, but it should certainly serve as a worrying sign.

"Companies have realised it costs a lot more to manage very different versions of phone OSes, hardware, etc, and it's easier just to roll out corporate phones on one platform," said Francisco Jeronimo, an analyst for IDC.

BYOD has pushed the iPhone forward in the business arena

BYOD has pushed the iPhone forward in the business arena

Apple, of course, is likely unfazed (as ever) with the iPhone continuing to be a big money-spinner, with sales in the three months leading up to January totalling 70 million, equivalent to around 750,000 per day – although recently we've heard worrying whispers, namely a TrendForce report, concerning a big drop in the number of units shifted.

However, there's no doubting that Apple could have done more regarding advancing in the business arena, and may well come to look at its lack of focus on enterprise as a stumbling point in the future.