Apple and IBM have teamed up to develop more than 100 industry-specific business applications specifically for iPhones and iPads that will run on Apple’s iOS platform. Now, IBM will sell Apple products with built-in apps to its clients and also add more services to its AppleCare program to support enterprise customers.
“We are delighted to be teaming with Apple, whose innovations have transformed our lives in ways we take for granted, but can’t imagine living without,” IBM CEO Ginni Rometty offered. “Our alliance will bring the same kind of transformation to the way people work, industries operate and companies perform.”
IBM is also looking forward to move more of its business software onto mobile devices along with the expansion of iPhone and iPad’s reach into companies. According to corporate technology leaders, Apple can do more to make it easier for companies to manage iPhones and iPads, particularly when it comes to management capabilities like the ability to load pre-configured applications and better interoperability with software from the likes of Microsoft Corp. The deal could perhaps make them more comfortable pursuing a mobile-first strategy.
“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 statement.
Earlier this year, Apple won about 8% of global business and government spending on computers and tablets in 2012, as reported by Forrester Research , up from 1% in 2009. The numbers excluded the iPhone, which may be the most widely purchased Apple product by corporate customers.
Time says: iPhones currently account for 82 percent of smartphones being used at U.S. corporations, while iPads make up 73 percent of tablets. The partnership will give Apple a further leg up against competitors like Google, which is integrating bring-your-own-device technology into the newest version of its Android software, and struggling enterprise phone maker BlackBerry.
Fox business says: As part of the agreement, the two will create 100 new types of enterprise solutions built specifically for the iPhone and iPad. IBM will also begin selling iPhones and iPads for industry-focused solutions and Big Blue will leverage its 100,000 consultants and software developers craft client solutions.
Apple will also develop a new class of its AppleCare support system aimed at enterprise clients.
After the news, IBM’s shares climbed about 2% in extended trading Tuesday, while Apple’s rose 1.7%.
Tech Crunch says: Industries Apple and IBM look to be tackling first include retail, healthcare, banking, travel, transportation, telecommunications and insurance (among others) with a planned rollout starting this fall and continuing in earnest through 2015. AppleCare for Enterprise will provide IT customers with 24-hour, all-day support via phone and online, while IBM’s workforce will offer on-site support as well.