In a 2015 Seeking Alpha article, analyst J.M. Manness said that Apple could conceivably move to the number two or even number one spot in the personal computer manufacturing list. I think his points are still valid.
"In the past, Macs had been purchased mostly by consumers and artists, with few sales in the typical corporate environment. This has been changing lately driven by several factors," Manness wrote. “First, some see the value proposition in a computer that needs significantly less support than the Windows PC. Many have written on this topic, although not all agree. Google and Cisco have been leaders in large companies going for Macs wholesale. A second driving force has been the BYOD movement initiated by smartphones and the related choose your own device options. All this has been driven by the halo effect of the iOS devices."
In addition to the iOS "halo effect," the analyst saw the Mac continuing to gain market share due to:
- The differences between Mac OS X (now macoS) and Windows are less important. Much work is done on the web which is OS agnostic. Many major apps are now available for the Mac, from Microsoft Office to AutoCAD. For companies that must have Windows to run legacy systems, this can be done effectively on a Mac via Boot Camp or virtualization.
- Management is easier. With tools such as Casper Suite from JAMF Software, Macs are as easy to manage in an enterprise environment as are WinPCs.
- Younger information workers. Many millennials have grown up with Apple products and prefer them.
- The IBM partnership. The partnership with IBM is aimed at mobile, but the Mac is there under the radar, so IBM will be promoting Macs to some degree.
(One note: if you figure the iPad into the equation, which most research groups don’t, Apple already leads in the personal computer market.)