Under Apple and IBM's "landmark" teaming, the former rivals will collaborate on creating mobile applications for specific enterprise solutions. IBM will also sell iPhones and iPads to its business customers.
The deal reflects Apple's desire to get its iOS software more deeply embedded in the enterprise segment as well as IBM's push into the mobile market. The deal will include the creation of more than 100 industry-specific enterprise solutions including native apps developed for the iPhone and iPad; IBM cloud services optimized for iOS, including device management, security, analytics and mobile integration; new AppleCare service and support for enterprise users; and new packaged offerings from IBM for device activation, supply and management.
Apple CEO Tim Cook and IBM CEO Ginni Rometty said the deal reflects their unique capabilities. "If you were building a puzzle, they would fit nicely together with no overlap," Cook said of the relationship in an interview with Re/code. "We do not compete on anything. And when you do that you end up with something better than either of you could produce yourself."
Rometty said Apple is the "gold standard for consumers," and said the partnership will allow the companies to help address the challenges affecting large companies. "We will get to remake professions and unlock value that companies don't yet have," she said. "We're addressing serious issues that before this had been inhibiting deployment of wireless in the enterprise."
Analysts said the deal now makes IBM and Apple more central players in the enterprise mobility market. "They're now strongly associated with the premium mobile platform and mobile devices," Forrester Research Frank Gillet told Bloomberg. "If you want to do anything interesting in the enterprise, you now have to check with IBM on what they're doing with Apple."