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Apple to buck the trend in sour computer market, says analyst

Corporate computer buying will be sluggish again this year, says Forrester Research, though Apple will still see strong business.

Apple's iPad
Apple's iPad. Apple

Apple will be one of the few companies to thrive this year in the midst of weak computer buying from the corporate crowd.

Global corporate spending on Windows PCs and tablets fell by 4 percent last year, according to a report out yesterday from Forrester Research. Spending is likely to be flat this year as companies slowly replace old Windows PCs with new Windows 8 devices.

But Apple is "one vendor that will buck this trend," the research firm said in its report. The company is expected to sell $7 billion worth of Macs and $11 billion of iPads to corporate customers this year. Those numbers are predicted to rise to $8 billion worth of Macs and $13 billion of iPads next year.

Despite a decline in PC spending, Windows 8 computers still dominate the corporate market. But Apple has seen greater demand for the Macs among business users over the past few years. And more companies have adopted or at least allowed the use of the iPad by employees at a time when the overall PC industry is hurting.

Forrester Research

"Unless the vendor's name is Apple or perhaps Lenovo, the computer equipment market will still struggle in 2013, with no better growth in sight until 2014," Forrester said in its report. "The 4 percent growth in PCs in 2013 looks more promising, but that is mostly due to growth in tablets, which we count in the broader PC category. It will not be until 2014 when the economic expansion strengthens that CIOs will feel confident enough to commit funds to refreshing their aging stack of PCs, servers, storage devices, and peripherals."

Forrester is eyeing an 8 percent increase in Windows 8 devices and PCs come 2014. But even that growth will be less than the double-digit gains projected for Apple, Android, and Linux products.