Apple and IBM, once bitter rivals, have signed a deal to bring enterprise apps and cloud services to Apple tablets and expand Apple’s reach in the business space.
Thirty years ago it would have been heresy perhaps, Steve Jobs so worried about competition from IBM did not notice that the real danger was actually Microsoft’s Bill Gates. The year’s pass and the enemies give way to the flourishing partnerships.
The iPad has been deemed by many to be a consumer leisure product. Most average consumers have purchased the iPad in large numbers, but the iPad hasn’t had the best reception in the business workplace. Microsoft’s Surface tablets and even Samsung’s Galaxy Note tablet lineup, have given Apple more than tough competition – with Microsoft’s main selling point being that its Surface Pro tablets offer more for your dollar than an Apple iPad.
The competition has turned difficult to such an extent that Apple’s been rumored to be on the verge of bringing a “12.9-inch iPad Pro” to market for over the last year.
In preparation of the iPad Pro, Apple’s started its strategy to bring in more business customers to the Apple fold. Yesterday, both companies announced IBM MobileFirst for iOS Solutions, a set of enterprise apps “developed exclusively from the ground up” for the iPhone and iPad, according to the press release. The partnership will involve new AppleCare enterprise plans as well as the best of IBM cloud services such as security, device management, and even analytics and mobile integration.
IBM MobileFirst for iOS will feature 100 enterprise apps, though we don’t know what the new apps are or will be named, as of this moment. IBM’s software services, coupled with Apple’s AppleCare protection plans that are exclusive to business professionals, will certainly make the iPad more appealing to business professionals who may hold other tablet solutions to be more productive and efficient in the business workplace.
Finally, Apple’s iPads will be sold by IBM to its global business clients, a huge win for Cupertino. In fact, we believe this last factor will prove to be the largest for the Apple-IBM deal. Overnight, Apple receives a huge endorsement by IBM to make a case that the iPad is just as business-efficient as any other tablet used in the workplace on a regular basis.
IBM Chairman, President, and CEO Ginni Rometty said in the announcement that teaming up with Apple is a privilege: “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. 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. Our alliance will bring the same kind of transformation to the way that people work, industries operate and companies perform.”
Where does the 12.9-inch iPad Pro rumor fit into this? The iPad Pro will be Apple’s commitment to securing the business professional buy at large. Apple’s new IBM deal is good, but winning over more of the business segment will be better. And, with long-standing competition these days, Apple, as does every company, needs all the help it can get.
Do you this Apple has made the right decision? Do you think Steve Jobs would’ve allowed this deal? Do share your thoughts in the comments section below?