Apple and IBM have announced an exclusive partnership aimed at developing a new class of business apps that bring IBM's big data and analytics capabilities to iOS devices.
The partnership represents an unprecedented show of co-operation between two companies that have been rivals since the dawn of the modern computing era. The two companies aim to create more that 100 industry-specific enterprise solutions including native apps developed exclusively for iPhones and iPads.
In addition, the partnership will create unique IBM cloud services that are optimised for iOS including device management, analytics, mobile integrations and security, develop new AppleCare services and support for enterprise needs, and package together IBM offerings for device activation, management and supply. IBM will also sell industry-specific iPhones and iPads to business clients worldwide as part of the agreement.
"iPhone and iPad are the best mobile devices in the world and have transformed the way people work with over 98 per cent of the Fortune 500 and over 91 per cent of the Global 500 using iOS devices in their business today," said Tim Cook, CEO of Apple. "For hte 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. This is a radical step for enterprise and something that only Apple and IBM can deliver."
In a memo to Apple employees sent out following the announcement, Cook enthused about the deal's potential, saying "This partnership brings together the best of both companies. It's great news for Apple, IBM and for enterprise customers worldwide and I'm really excited to see it take off."
"Mobility – combined with the phenomena of data and cloud – is transforming business and our industry in historic ways, allowing people to re-imagine work, industries and professions," said Ginni Rometty, chairman, president and CEO at IBM. "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 people work, industries operate and companies perform."