Apple teams with IBM to push iPad and iPhone further into business world

Three white iPhone 5S handsets displaying iOS 7Apple and IBM are teaming up in an effort to improve the position of iOS devices in the business world. The new partnership, announced this afternoon, is slated to produce more than 100 industry-specific enterprise applications for the iPhone and iPad, as well as specialized IBM cloud services for iOS including device management and analytics.

“For the first time ever we’re putting IBM’s renowned big data analytics at iOS users’ fingertips, which opens up a large market opportunity for Apple,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a press release announcing the partnership.

In addition, Apple will create a specialized AppleCare warranty and support plan that’s designed to meet the needs of business customers. IBM will sell iPhones and iPads with enterprise-specific apps to its business customers.

That sales support is important, since it means that IBM’s sales team will be working to promote Apple’s products to existing enterprise customers who may be using other mobile platforms.

This move should help Apple continue to push its mobile devices as solid options for the enterprise, as rivals Google and Microsoft work to position their products as better choices for businesses looking to get work done while on the go. According to Apple, 98 percent of the Fortune 500 and 92 percent of the Global 500 use iOS devices in their business.

The news comes a month after Apple previewed iOS 8, the latest version of its mobile operating system, at its Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. The new update is designed to bring a number of new enterprise features to the platform, including expanded security tools.

The two companies are no stranger to working with one another. For many years, Apple used IBM’s PowerPC processors to power its Mac computers, until 2006, when the company officially made the switch to using Intel processors in its new computers.

  • http://www.intrinsicstrategy.com/ FrankCatalano

    It’s also worth noting that, a generation ago, Apple and IBM collaborated on an object-oriented operating system known as Pink. It ran into problems (including flagging support from Apple because of political infighting), was spun out separately as Taligent, and eventually died after later being absorbed into IBM. However, that was an initiative that combined two efforts in a single direction due to a common enemy, Microsoft. This seems to split efforts, with an emphasis on what each company knows best — and perhaps helps shore up Apple’s enterprise credibility since it has become increasingly consumer-focused over the past 15 years. If IBM and its sales force has proper incentives to promote Apple products, it could work.

    • guest

      Also a generation ago, IBM and MSFT partnered on an object oriented (sort of, barely) OS known as OS/2. Which ran into problems (including flagging support from MSFT because of political infighting).

      There’s a theme that runs thru both.

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  • guest

    Yup, MSFT can’t be happy about this.

    Apple the dominant OS and IBM a VAR. We live in strange times.