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How the times have changed.

Remember when IBM was the big bad boy, only to be smashed (unsuccessfully as it turned out) by a counter-cultural sledgehammer-wielding runner? And when Microsoft was the face of the enterprise, with big massive ugly solutions for Office Space peons across the globe?

Not anymore, baby. Apple is the new enterprise.

“iPads are 88 percent of all tablet activations in enterprise,” Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer said today. “iPhone is the smartphone of choice for business.”

And he’s right. The iPhone captured 62.5 percent of the U.S. commercial market, which Apple defines as business, government, and education, Oppenheimer added. That’s a strong majority position. In addition, according to Apple, the iPhone 5 and the iPad are “beating Android” in business.

That was quick — from tie-dye and think-different to darling of the button-down cube-dwelling set, in less than a decade.

How do the tides turn.

When Apple introduced the iPhone, Ballmer famously dismissed it with a real-life LOL as the “most expensive phone in the world.” And, he said, it doesn’t appeal to business customers because it doesn’t have a keyboard, and therefore wasn’t a very good machine for e-mail. “I like our strategy. I like it a lot,” Ballmer said.


Now, the reality is that in spite of Apple’s nice iPhone sales this past quarter that have the company saying it owns more than half the U.S. market, Android is eating Apple’s lunch at the low end, the dare-I-say-it consumer end of the market that Apple was supposed to be strong in, with iPod, and iTunes, and iPad, and iPhone.

Whether that’s a great money-making strategy for Google or not is a good question, but the fact that Apple is touting success in the enterprise is certainly an interesting flip.

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