40 percent of US iPhones are sold to enterprises

Four out of 10 sales of the iPhone are made to enterprise users. When the iPhone came out, what most people heard in the first year from ‘07 to ‘08 was oh my God, it’s not BlackBerry secure. This is not going to work on the enterprise space.

At the end of the day, it’s just software. That’s all it is. And by the time the 3G came out in ‘08 they had solved about 80% of the security issues.

So enterprises today view the iPhone as a mobile computer. It happens to have a voice application on it.

via AT&T exec: 4 out of 10 of our iPhone sales to enterprises | ZDNet.

Compare Apple’s approach to that of Nokia:

Microsoft and Nokia have formed a global alliance to design, develop and market mobile productivity, communications and collaboration solutions.

Under the terms of the agreement, the two companies will begin collaborating immediately on the design, development and marketing of productivity solutions for the mobile professional, bringing Microsoft Office Mobile and Microsoft business communications, collaboration and device management software to Nokia’s Symbian devices.
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The black ships from Cupertino

Softbank stopped accepting reservations for the iPad after only three days.

In one Twitter exchange, Mitsuru Yoshii sent a message to Softbank Chief Executive Masayoshi Son saying that the iPad was the “21st century’s black ships.”

In response to the historical reference to the U.S. Naval fleet that opened up Japan to the West in 1853, Mr. Son wrote back: “Indeed!”

via Japan’s iPad Frenzy Signals a Sea Change – WSJ.com.

In Japan the term “Black Ships” has come to symbolise a threat imposed by Western technology but also the opening of Japan to the West and the awakening of imperial ambitions that lasted for a century.

Who benefits from the shift from business to consumer drivers for technology?

Consumer tastes have overtaken the needs of business as the leading force shaping technology.

via New King of Technology – Apple Overtakes Microsoft – NYTimes.com.

Why is it that other “consumer-oriented” companies like Sony, Nokia and Phillips have not benefitted from this shift?  As far as I can tell they are no better off (and sometimes quite a lot worse off) than Microsoft has been during this transition.

Clearly, although the paradigm did shift to consumers, simply being consumer focused is not enough to benefit from this shift.

Conversely, simply being Enterprise focused (like Cisco or Oracle) has not caused dramatic loss of shareholder value.

Thus the focus is not causal to fortune.

From personal experience I can also recall that precisely at the time when the shift was beginning (think back to when “IT does not matter” was published) at least one of these companies was looking for ways to create “Enterprise Solutions”.

This hints at the cause rooted in strategy, or, more precisely, priorities and the courage to lead.

Can Google buy consumer competitiveness? Can Apple be an ad giant?

Daniel Eran Dilger in fine form after Apple became the world’s largest technology company by market capitalization.

These days, Apple’s primary competitors have all fallen down on their knees while clutching their gutted bellies…

Who is left? Google, the paid search giant that backers hope will beat Apple in hardware and software platforms… despite Google being neither a hardware vendor (nor marketer nor retailer nor support provider) nor having any real experience in managing a software platform for consumers. Fans of Google suggest that the company will take on Apple by acquiring a competing version of everything Apple has built over the last decade: iTunes, a mobile platform, hardware expertise, user interface design savvy, development tools, and a user base.

The problem is, they don’t also foresee that Apple could compete against Google in its own home territory of ads.

via How Apple could slay Google at WWDC 2010 — RoughlyDrafted Magazine.

The key assumption in the “Google can buy anything Apple already has” is that of the three things that make up a company (resources, processes and priorities) the only thing cash can buy is resources, and, in the tech world, even those are fragile things with legs that can walk out the front door.

Google’s “copy-paste” competitive approach vis-a-vis Apple falls down when you realize that Apple has been successful mostly because of its processes and priorities. It’s well known that all of its vanquished competitors could (and did) recruit legions of Apple employees, elevating them to positions of responsibility, with naught to show for it. Grafting engineers and IP onto Google (or Nokia or Microsoft) cannot make it into an Apple.

Conversely, through a risky, long and arduous path, Apple could become a Google. Success with ad-based search requires resources (mostly CapEx), algorithms and distribution. With the $42 billion (soon to be $100 billion) in the bank and eye-watering free cash flow, there are few no resources that Apple cannot buy.

With iAd the world will witness an Apple that can make loads of money in Google’s home turf, while Google burns cash and bridges with Android trying to defend its soft platform underbelly.  The irony is that Apple can knee-cap Google without even trying to do search. After all, Jobs said plainly enough: On a mobile device Search hasn’t happened.

Judging by the stock prices of the two companies, I suspect investors know this already.