Mobile

Apple and IBM join forces to bring iPhones and iPads to businesses

Above: Apple CEO Tim Cook at WWDC 2014

Image Credit: Dean Takahashi/VentureBeat
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We now live in a world where Apple and IBM, two former PC industry rivals, are working together in a big way.

The two companies today announced a major new partnership that will see IBM pushing its apps and services on Apple’s iPhone and iPad for businesses. IBM will also sell Apple’s mobile devices to its enterprise customers.

While the partnership is surprising, it makes sense for both companies: IBM gets a foothold into valuable business customers, which are already adopting iOS devices. And Apple gets a partner who already offers plenty of enterprise-grade solutions, enabling Apple to continue focusing on the consumer market.

“iPhone and iPad are the best mobile devices in the world and have transformed the way people work with over 98 percent of the Fortune 500 and over 92 percent of the Global 500 using iOS devices in their business today,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook in a statement. “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. This is a radical step for enterprise and something that only Apple and IBM can deliver.”

As part of the arrangement, the two companies say they will develop more than 100 different solutions which will take advantage of their respective strengths. IBM will build cloud services and apps specifically meant for iOS devices, as well as offer streamlined ways for businesses to buy and manage Apple devices. Apple, meanwhile, will offer 24/7 AppleCare support catered toward enterprise customers.

We can expect to see apps geared toward specific industries, like retail and hospitality, as well as services that tap into IBM’s big data and analytics capabilities. The first apps to come out of the partnership should be available by this fall — likely coinciding with the launch of iOS 8 and the iPhone 6.

“The Apple IBM partnership is a landmark agreement,” said Forrester analyst Frank Gillett in a statement today. “Given IBM’s market strength and coverage, this partnership gives Apple enterprise capabilities and credibility at one stroke — and gives IBM a premium advantage in the race for mobile enterprise leadership. Look for Google and leading enterprise suppliers to seek partnerships that offer a credible alternative.”

More about the companies and people from this article:

We are Intel Sponsors of Tomorrow™, not only through our technical innovation, but through our endless efforts in education, environmental sustainability, healthcare, and much, much more. The range of computing products based on ... read more »

Apple designs and markets consumer electronics, computer software, and personal computers. The company's best-known hardware products include the Macintosh line of computers, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad. Apple software includes t... read more »

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13 comments
Tengku Razman
Tengku Razman

Byod = bring your own device just become official

Dan Herrin
Dan Herrin

...as Long Suffering Zombied-Out Windows-Abused Office Workers of the world collectively celebrate....

Brian Hackett
Brian Hackett

Apple has no clue how to sell to the enterprise client. Alost has a distain for business clients. Wonder if IBM can break through that cultural bias?

Chung Yang
Chung Yang

Wow. This is a game changer for Apple in the enterprise. I would have assumed that IBM would have gone with MS Surface tablet solution. I was wrong. The fat lady started singing apparently.

Gerald W. Ford Jr.
Gerald W. Ford Jr.

I guess that IBM did not learn from the last time they join forces with MS.