Apple (AAPL) and IBM (IBM) on Tuesday announced a wide-ranging partnership that will see the ‘Big Blue’ develop exclusive apps for Apple mobile devices to sell them to its corporate customers and provide on-site support.
The deal will bring “more than 100 industry-specific enterprise solutions” to Apple’s iPhones and iPads including native apps, developed exclusively from the ground up for Apple’s gadgets, according to an IBM press release. The two companies have also agreed to work together to develop business software that matches the quality and simplicity of Apple’s consumer apps.
It goes without saying, that an exclusive agreement by the tech giants to build a new class of made-for-business apps aimed at companies in retail, healthcare, banking, travel and transportation, telecommunications and insurance, among others, and sell mobile devices and services to the enterprise-is not only a direct assault on Microsoft (MSFT)’s home turf, which more than three decades ago (Nov. 1980) won a contract from IBM that helped it become a dominant force in the computing world, but also one that could have lasting ramifications for rivals Google (GOOGL) and BlackBerry (BBRY). IBM CEO Ginni Rometty promised a “transformation to the way people work, industries operate and companies perform.”
Starting this fall and into fiscal 2015, the devices will only be available through IBM representatives to their business clients.
“iPhone and iPad are the best mobile devices in the world and have transformed the way people work with over 98 percent of the Fortune 500 and over 92 percent of the Global 500 using iOS devices in their business today. For the 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.” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement, calling the partnership “a radical step.”
Price action: In pre-market trading, Apple rose 2.13% to $97.35, while IBM climbed 1.86% to $192.00.