Two former enemies are now working together: Apple and International Business Machines Corp, known more commonly as IBM, have joined forces to create business apps and sell iPhones, as well as iPads, to corporate customers.
The deal will help bring iPhone and iPad fully into the business world. For IBM, it will allow an expansion of its business software through popular mobile devices, which could help their overall revenue. IBM revenue has decreased year-over-year since 2006. Neither company has divulged the financial terms of the agreement.
Thirty years ago, this deal would have been unthinkable. Apple famously went after IBM with their iconic "1984" commercial, which remains one of the most famous commercials to this day:
Since the days of "1984," both companies have changed greatly. Customer needs have also changed. The race to the best desktop is no longer defining the technology device market. IBM is out of the personal computer business all together, as they sold to Lenovo Group in 2005. Now, IBM remains a software and computer services company. While Apple does still make personal computers, they are primarily a mobile device company.
Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, worked for IBM for more than 10 years. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, he said "In '84, we were competitors. In 2014, I don't think you can find two more complementary companies. This is a really landmark deal."
Apple hopes IBM's relationships with corporations will help to build ideal business apps. The apps will take advantage of IBM's computing services, such as security, device management, and big-data analytics. IBM employees will provide on-site support for Apple products within corporations, similar to existing AppleCare. More than 100,000 IBM employees will be assigned to the Apple agreement.
Right now, they are working to develop over 100 of these new business apps. They are set to come out this fall, right in time for the release of iOS 8.