It’s hard to deny the appeal of Apple’s Mac computer line. Its sexy design, intuitive interface and proven reliability make Apple an attractive alternate to PCs for many small businesses. Not to mention, how can you not love the old commercials?
As small business owners build out or update office infrastructure, they face the decision of whether to buy Mac or PC computers. During this decision, it is important that you restrain your inner Apple fan-boy—he’ll cloud your judgment. Below, I’ve outlined what I believe to be the three most compelling businesses cases that support the purchase of PCs over Macs: price, support and applications.
Full disclosure: Acroment is a Microsoft Certified Partner and does not offer Apple technology or support.
1. Competitive Pricing
Apple has always charged the premium for its products, boosting it to become the most valuable company in the world. Unfortunately for many small businesses, premium pricing is what puts Apple’s technology out of reach.
“We would love to have a ton of Apple products in the office, but in reality, they are just too expensive to purchase and upkeep. When it comes down to it, we can successfully run all our business operations through PCs.” —Ian Aronovich, CEO of GovernmentAuctions.org in the Inc. article, Is Your Business a Mac or a PC?
Case in point: if you compare two similar laptop computers in terms of screen size, memory, hard-drive space and warranty, the cost savings from a PC is clear. The comparison below looks at manufacturer pricing:
|Macbook Pro: $2,698
||Dell Latitude E6520: $2,124
Now, multiply this cost difference across dozens, or even hundreds of computers. PCs make more fiscal sense for small businesses, especially those on tight budgets.
2. Greater Technical Support Options Available
PCs have a greater share of the business-computer market than Macs—in Nov. 2011, Mac’s made up 5.2% of total world market share (a 15-year high).
As you would expect, the availability of qualified support professionals mirrors this difference. A Google Maps search for Cleveland computer support shows PC support out numbers Mac support by more than 4 to 1:
- “Cleveland PC Computer Support”—697 results
- “Cleveland Mac Computer Support”—162 results
PC owners have the advantage, as neither PCs nor Macs are immune from technical troubles. Troubleshooting and resolving issues takes time, which many small business owners and employees just don’t have. As small business owners know, access to qualified IT support professionals is essential in getting your employees back up and productive as quickly as possible.
3. Available Business Applications
Before choosing Mac or PC, understand the impact for applications critical to your business—there are often a few unavailable for Macs, or at the least, available with less functionality.
For example, CNet users gave Microsoft Office for Mac 2 out of 5 stars, while PCmag.com reviewers voiced similar dislike for the software despite a positive overall review by the publication. Other applications may be only available on Windows machines.
Available software—like Boot Camp, Parallels Desktop for Mac, or other virtual desktop programs—can virtually turn your PC into a Mac. Unfortunately, this software is an additional expense, challenging to install and requires significant hard-drive space.
“Without a question, these cross-platform tools can be useful for occasional use of PC-based programs on Apple equipment. But keep in mind that the cost in time, equipment, software and training won’t be trivial. Unfortunately, the frustrating, bipolar Mac-PC relationship still remains somewhat polarized.”
How to Run Business Software Between Macs and PCs, Entrepreneur
When customers ask us which computers they should choose, we almost always recommend PCs. I’m a fan of Apple, and I believe they make great products. However, until prices are competitive, support is more readily available and all programs are created equal, I side with my buddy PC when it comes to computer selection for small businesses.