IBM reportedly plans to purchase up to 200K MacBooks for employees

Posted:
in General Discussion edited August 2015
It was learned in May that IBM plans to deploy some 50,000 MacBooks to employees by the end of 2015, but a newly leaked video suggests the company could see adoption numbers between 150,000 to 200,000 units.




In an internal company video procured by MacRumors, IBM chief information officer Jeff Smith tells the story of a recent meeting with his counterpart at Apple Niall O'Connor about working together on a corporate device buying initiative. The clip suggests IBM is looking to make a drastic change to its company-issued workstation program, one that will largely rely on Apple's MacBook lineup.

From Smith's retelling:
We've got to find a way to make the overall cost the same or lower than PCs to make that happen. Would you be interested in helping me do that because you guys know these devices. And he said, "Nah Jeff, we'd never do that, very secretive, we never allow anyone in. You know, we just don't do that."

And I said, "Well who's your largest corporate customer?" And he said, "Well, that customer has got about 25,000 MacBooks a year." And I said, "Well we could be 150 to 200,000." And he goes, "Jeff, that's a great idea. We're gonna come here, you know, next week, you bring your whole team." And that's exactly what happened.
Smith does not present a rollout timeline in the clip, but uptake could be rapid considering an upgrade program is already in place to swap out old employee workstations with MacBook Pros, MacBook Airs or PCs. In May, a leaked internal memo revealed IBM estimates it will hand out some 50,000 MacBooks by the end of 2015, a number that would make it the world's largest Mac-supporting company.

Smith goes on to note IBM vice president Fletcher Previn told Apple CEO Tim Cook that he estimates about 50 to 75 percent of employees will switch from Lenovo machines to Mac as part of the initiative. Cook reportedly fired back, "Well what about the other third?"

"Of course [Cook] would like to have 100 percent," Smith said.

Apple and IBM surprised tech pundits last year by announcing a partnership in enterprise solutions dubbed "IBM MobileFirst for iOS," an initiative incorporating custom software and analytics services with iOS hardware.

The companies in June revealed work on an experimental educational product called the Student Achievement App, which looks to provide teachers with real-time student data analytics. A prototype version of the service is slated for completion soon, with pilot programs scheduled to roll out at four schools in 2016.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 45
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Someone should send this to the WSJ who's spreading FUD about Apple again. The same clowns that claimed Apple cut iPhone 5 orders in half. :rolleyes:

    http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2015/07/31/glimmers-emerge-on-apple-watch-sales-and-theyre-not-pretty/
  • Reply 2 of 45
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    That's a good start. This was inevitable but it's definitely good to see IBM onboard early on in this new push, relatively speaking. I expect corporations allowing customers to pick their platform will rise in the coming years.

    rogifan wrote: »
    Someone should send this to the WSJ who's spreading FUD about Apple again. The same clowns that claimed Apple cut iPhone 5 orders in half. :rolleyes:

    http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2015/07/31/glimmers-emerge-on-apple-watch-sales-and-theyre-not-pretty/

    They aren't related, although on the other story (soon to be an AI article) that analysts are lowing their Apple Watch sales expectations, that doesn't mean shit. Even if they happen to be accurate (first time for everything) their new expectations make it both a huge success and very profitable for Apple. In terms of unit sales the analysts have it as beating the iPhone to beating the iPad in first year sales. How is that not impressive?
  • Reply 3 of 45
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    solipsismy wrote: »
    That's a good start. This was inevitable but it's definitely good to see IBM onboard. I expect corporations allowing customers to pick their platform will rise in the coming years.
    They aren't related, although on the other story (soon to be an AI article) that analysts are lowing their Apple Watch sales expectations, that doesn't mean shit. Even if they happen to be accurate (first time for everything) their new expectations make it both a huge success and very profitable for Apple. In terms of unit sales the analysts have it as beating the iPhone to beating the iPad in first year sales. How is that not impressive?

    It's totally impressive as is Apple getting IBM to purchase hundreds of thousands of Macs.
  • Reply 4 of 45
    My sources say this report is accurate.

    (Seriously)
  • Reply 5 of 45
    bkkcanuckbkkcanuck Posts: 854member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post



    My sources say this report is accurate.



    (Seriously)

    Does not surprise me, once IBM allowed employees to pick their own workstation .... it was inevitable.  Thoughtworks (a former employer of mine) did that years ago, and from what I heard it almost immediately lead to 90% going with Apple....   I would not be surprised if the % choosing Apple was not higher than expected (not sure about the numbers)....   

  • Reply 6 of 45
    bkkcanuck wrote: »
    Does not surprise me, once IBM allowed employees to pick their own workstation .... it was inevitable.  Thoughtworks (a former employer of mine) did that years ago, and from what I heard it almost immediately lead to 90% going with Apple....   I would not be surprised if the % choosing Apple was not higher than expected (not sure about the numbers)....   

    It's not the low margin stuff either, it's 15" MBP's and iPhone 6's. In many cases it's the i7 BTO models as well.
  • Reply 7 of 45
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,185member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post



    My sources say this report is accurate.



    (Seriously)



    In such large volumes I'm sure IBM will get a nice discount.

  • Reply 8 of 45
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,925member

    I have a close friend who works for IBM and has had a MacBook Air for (I think) around six months now, and I doubt he was a high priority/early adopter case.  Don't think this is particularly new news, though it's a nice big number to quote.

  • Reply 9 of 45

    Strange to imagine that place without everyone working on ThinkPads, that must have been painful for Lenovo to lose that contract (or have the exclusivity of it expire, not sure what the details were though I worked at IBM at the time, and Lenovo still supplied ThinkPads to employees for a long time after the sale as I recall). Phones I knew they had been allowing Apple for awhile now, but laptops, that's a big change. But, not only does it mean no ThinkPads, it also means no requirement for Windows (bit of a sting to Microsoft, tee hee hee).

  • Reply 10 of 45
    joshajosha Posts: 901member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by williamlondon View Post

     

    Strange to imagine that place without everyone working on ThinkPads, that must have been painful for Lenovo to lose that contract (or have the exclusivity of it expire, not sure what the details were though I worked at IBM at the time, and Lenovo still supplied ThinkPads to employees for a long time after the sale as I recall). Phones I knew they had been allowing Apple for awhile now, but laptops, that's a big change. But, not only does it mean no ThinkPads, it also means no requirement for Windows (bit of a sting to Microsoft, tee hee hee).




    Yes this is a long time coming for the IBMers who wisely switched to Apple many years ago.

      I personally know some who did long before (10yrs) MS Windows finally gave MacOS some competition.

     

    Now I'm wondering how many MS employees hide a Mac at home ?

  • Reply 11 of 45
    Why would a MS employee hide a Mac at home? Just install Windows on and your ready to go to work in the business world. Same would hold for an IBM employee. Lets not forget Mac's run Windows too!
  • Reply 12 of 45
    rogifan wrote: »
    solipsismy wrote: »
    That's a good start. This was inevitable but it's definitely good to see IBM onboard. I expect corporations allowing customers to pick their platform will rise in the coming years.
    They aren't related, although on the other story (soon to be an AI article) that analysts are lowing their Apple Watch sales expectations, that doesn't mean shit. Even if they happen to be accurate (first time for everything) their new expectations make it both a huge success and very profitable for Apple. In terms of unit sales the analysts have it as beating the iPhone to beating the iPad in first year sales. How is that not impressive?

    It's totally impressive as is Apple getting IBM to purchase hundreds of thousands of Macs.

    Doubly impressive as these are the IBM people who are going into the offices of their Fortune 2000 enterprise customers and pushing iOS devices for their use... It's about time the IBM partnership starts moving the needle...
  • Reply 13 of 45
    [SIZE=4]This story made my spidy senses tingle....[/SIZE]
  • Reply 14 of 45
    bkkcanuckbkkcanuck Posts: 854member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post





    Doubly impressive as these are the IBM people who are going into the offices of their Fortune 2000 enterprise customers and pushing iOS devices for their use... It's about time the IBM partnership starts moving the needle...

    More than that - it is no doubt that Windows deployment in a corporation is cheaper.... I am hoping that IBM can work out the kinks of corporate wide deployment and support and help with solutions that will reduce the cost of supporting macs in corporations.... making it much more attractive.

  • Reply 15 of 45

    Google is probably the current biggest Mac buyer.

  • Reply 16 of 45
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bkkcanuck View Post

     
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post





    Doubly impressive as these are the IBM people who are going into the offices of their Fortune 2000 enterprise customers and pushing iOS devices for their use... It's about time the IBM partnership starts moving the needle...

    More than that - it is no doubt that Windows deployment in a corporation is cheaper.... I am hoping that IBM can work out the kinks of corporate wide deployment and support and help with solutions that will reduce the cost of supporting macs in corporations.... making it much more attractive.


    Windows may be cheaper to deploy, but years of data show OSX to be cheaper to maintain. Part of the IBM and Apple partnership is to address all aspects of services relating to Apple products for their customers. Admittedly everything I've read refers to iOS devices, so OSX support is unclear to me.

  • Reply 17 of 45
    bkkcanuckbkkcanuck Posts: 854member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

     

    Windows may be cheaper to deploy, but years of data show OSX to be cheaper to maintain. Part of the IBM and Apple partnership is to address all aspects of services relating to Apple products for their customers. Admittedly everything I've read refers to iOS devices, so OSX support is unclear to me.


    I don't think it is codified in an agreement as it was for iOS, but it is part of the goals of the two working together (they have mentioned it).  Remember that for the most part IBM is now a services company - without a PC division.....  which means that anything they develop etc to support it can be monetized as part of the services they offer to their customers.  

     

    An interesting side story.... I once rejected an IBM employee and refused him entry into our house.... because he was wearing a brown jacket.  I just told him there was no way he was from IBM so he would not be allowed in since IBM employees don't wear brown.... I then told my father that an person claiming to be an IBM guy was outside - but I refused to let him in.... (I could get away with it because my father's organization was a reasonably sizeable customer of big iron :p

  • Reply 18 of 45
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JoshA View Post

     

    Now I'm wondering how many MS employees hide a Mac at home ?


     

    Last time I was in Microsoft (several years ago thank goodness) my partner manager at the time had an iPhone and was showing it to me, so proud of his iPhone (in Microsoft) and laughing because he changed his signature from "Sent from my iPhone" to "Sent from my Windows Phone" so he wouldn't get into any "trouble" with work. :rolleyes: 

  • Reply 19 of 45
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,047member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bkkcanuck View Post

     

    More than that - it is no doubt that Windows deployment in a corporation is cheaper.... I am hoping that IBM can work out the kinks of corporate wide deployment and support and help with solutions that will reduce the cost of supporting macs in corporations.... making it much more attractive.


    The only way Windows deployment is cheaper is when you supply your employees with cheap computers, otherwise it's much less expensive to deploy OSX (now free no matter how you deploy), manage Macs (either through basic OSX Server, $20/server OS, or the less expensive MDM software), and maintain Macs. If IBM feels Macs can run IBM software then there isn't an extra cost. There's no reason to spend a ton of money on Microsoft client licenses (the most expensive part of running any Microsoft-based installation). 

     

    Now it's your turn. How is Windows deployment cheaper if you aren't required by the IS department to run Microsoft software?

  • Reply 20 of 45
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,047member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by williamlondon View Post

     

     

    Last time I was in Microsoft (several years ago thank goodness) my partner manager at the time had an iPhone and was showing it to me, so proud of his iPhone (in Microsoft) and laughing because he changed his signature from "Sent from my iPhone" to "Sent from my Windows Phone" so he wouldn't get into any "trouble" with work. :rolleyes: 


    Of course it he sends corporate email using a false or misleading tag, he could run afoul of various corporate laws dealing with false advertising. 

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