We've blogged before about SMBs' relative lack of bureaucracy when compared to their larger counterparts, a trait that often allows them to make decisions faster than the big boys.
It also means SMBs are less likely to fall into lockstep when selecting tech solutions for their companies, a trait that can only be good for Apple, which is always exhorting its possible customers to "Think Different."
Apple has been kicking butt in the consumer market, thanks largely to its wildly successful iPod, and it now has one of the most-hyped tech devices of all time waiting in the wings with the iPhone. Yet -- its popularity among graphic designers and other creative pros notwithstanding -- Apple's vaunted "cool factor" hasn't won it much love in the business world.
Among the knocks against it: a (quite possibly erroneous) impression that Macs cost far more than PCs.
Yet a convergence of market forces appears to be working in Apple's favor, especially in the SMB market. Among them: votes of confidence from companies like IBM, which recently released a Mac version of Lotus Notes, and the growing popularity of virtualization technology, which promises to allow companies to more easily opt for multiple operating systems rather than always using Windows by default.
According to recent AMI-Partners research, Apple saw healthy growth in sales of both desktop PCs and laptops to SMBs in the past year. The numbers might earn SMBs a Namaste from Fake Steve Jobs. (And we suspect the real Steve Jobs might be inclined to agree.)
Apple has a number of features that hold special appeal for SMBs, says AMI-Partners, including a networking application called Bonjour that lets companies access every major file server protocol, and "Time Machine," which facilitates backing up PCs with no external hardware or software required. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Namaste