Apple and IBM Squash Beef, Team Up on Apps
Setting aside a thirty-year-old rivalry, Apple and IBM recently announced that they will be working together to create business software for iPhone and iPad users. The business software being developed by the two tech giants is aimed at catering to an increasingly mobile workforce.
According to the announcement delivered by IBM and Apple on July 15, 2014, the apps that will be designed to perform on iPhone and iPad will be tailored to work with IBM’s data analytics and cloud services. In addition, IBM will sell Apple’s mobile devices to their business customers, and Apple will offer customer service support for the apps.
A Symbiotic Partnership
By teaming up with IBM, Apple will gain access to a larger portion of the market for corporate users of mobile devices. The partnership also helps IBM to stay in the running with other tech companies that have dominated the mobile computing movement.
IBM becomes partners with Apple, one of the most widely recognized and respected consumer electronics brand. This will help IBM to stay relevant in the discussion of top players in mobile technology.
In return, Apple will be able to utilize a large sales force through IBM to purvey their smartphones and tablets to business companies.
Catering to the Business Sector
Smartphones and tablets are everywhere – even in business. It is estimated that more than 98% of Fortune 500 company employees use iPhone and iPad for work. As of right now, mobile devices are primarily used in business to check emails and manage calendars.
However, with the development of new business apps from IBM and Apple, they intend to expand business software for mobile devices to include more sales and day-to-day work flow functions.
Apple and IBM plan to build more than 100 industry-specific apps for the iPhone and iPad, and tools for managing functions on the mobile devices, including activations, security and analytics. Industries to be targeted with apps include retail, health care, banking, travel, transportation and telecommunications.
Replacing the Dinosaurs of CIOs
While business employees across the world may be glued to their iPhone and iPad screens all day, the big decision makers – the Chief Information Officers (CIOs) – of large companies, have been slow to adopt Apple technologies.
With help from IBM in sales, Apple could potentially reach the leaders in technology decisions at many Fortune 500 companies, selling not only mobile devices but also PCs and laptops. Many large businesses still operate on old, outdated, company-issued systems that could be replaced with Apple computers through IBM’s reach and influence with senior decision makers.
Apple – IBM Rivalry
The rivalry between Apple and IBM goes back to 1981, when Apple took out an ad mocking the arrival of the IBM PC. The competition between the two companies in the technology world is illustrated in the following memorable television commercial that aired during the 1984 Super Bowl, comparing IBM and its users to a totalitarian society, hinting at Big Brother from the classic George Orwell novel, 1984.
The potential for IBM and Apple to boost their own respective revenues is immense. But the strategies they proceed with in promoting sales and commercializing their joint venture in business software will ultimately determine the overall impact for each tech giant.
Setting this rivalry aside is huge for the technology sector, and indicates that – hey, maybe we can all just get along…
Barinka, Alex and Satariano, Adam. “Apple, IBM to Develop iPhone Apps for Business Customers.” Bloomberg. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-15/apple-ibm-to-develop-iphone-applications-for-corporate-users.html 7/15/2014.
Hall, Mark. “Editorial: Apple vs. IBM.” ComputerWorld. http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/308009/Apple_vs._IBM 11/26/2014.
“Apple, IBM give up 30-year rivalry to work together on iPhone, iPad software.” The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/apple-ibm-give-up-30-year-rivalry-to-work-together-on-iphone-ipad-software/2014/07/15/b12a0be6-0c59-11e4-8c9a-923ecc0c7d23_story.html 7/15/2014.