Apple CEO Tim Cook and IBM CEO Ginni Rometty (Credit: IBM)
Apple and IBM once fought bitterly for the future of computers. Now the two tech behemoths are teaming up.
On Tuesday afternoon, Apple and IBM announced a partnership to build enterprise apps designed exclusively for iPhones and iPads. The collaboration is expected to bring more than 100 apps with IBM providing the cloud services.
Together, the pair hope to combine strengths — Apple’s consumer device know-how with IBM’s sterling enterprise reputation. As part of the agreement, IBM will also sell iPhones and iPads, preloaded with “industry-specific solutions” to business clients. It’s all a far cry from the days of 1983, when Steve Jobs literally flipped the bird to IBM.
Apple CEO Tim Cook boasted in a statement that iOS devices are already used by over 98% of the Fortune 500 and over 92% of the Global 500. “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,” he said.
“Mobility—combined with the phenomena of data and cloud—is transforming business and our industry in historic ways, allowing people to re-imagine work, industries and professions,” IBM CEO Ginni Rometty said. “This alliance with Apple will build on our momentum in bringing these innovations to our clients globally, and leverages IBM’s leadership in analytics, cloud, software and services.”
Apple and IBM specifically mentioned the retail, healthcare, banking, travel, transportation, telecom, and insurance industries as areas they want to target with apps as soon as this fall. A new “AppleCare for Enterprise” will be Apple’s new support service for businesses, providing 24/7 assistance along with on-site service delivered by IBM.
“The Apple IBM partnership is a landmark agreement,” says Forrester analyst Frank Gillett. “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.”
No financial terms of the deal were released. In after hours trading, Apple shares rose 1.6%, and IBM’s rose 2.1%.
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