Apple and IBM will work closely together in the enterprise market. Part of the extensive IBM MobileFirst for iOS agreement is that IBM will supply iPhones and iPads containing the company’s business apps to customers.
IBM will leverage its big data and data analytics capabilities for the iOS platform, which should deliver more than 100 enterprise applications, including apps for the iPhone and iPad. In addition, IBM will optimize its cloud services specifically for iOS in terms of management and security. IBM will also offer iPhones and iPads with a business platform on them, as well as take care of device activation, distribution and management. Apple, in turn, is launching an enterprise offering of its AppleCare service.
IBM’s first enterprise apps for iOS are expected to be released in the fall of this year, followed by more apps in 2015. These include apps for retail, healthcare, banking, travel, transportation, telecommunications and insurance companies. Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks of a “radical step for the enterprise” that only Apple and IBM could take.
Apple has already made significant gains in market share in the enterprise market with iOS in recent years, but the partnership with IBM should definitely make the platform the industry standard. BlackBerry in particular has lost ground in the business mobile market, but Microsoft, among others, will now experience even more competition from Apple. As in the consumer market, the business market is also moving from desktop to mobile and IBM hopes to piggyback on Apple’s success in this area.
IBM and Apple have not always had warm ties. The two companies have a history of rivalry, the most famous public example being Apple’s famous 1984 advertisement, which refers to IBM as Big Brother. Steve Jobs made no secret of his distaste for IBM as a technology juggernaut.