Dial the clock back thirty years, and it’s hard to think of a corporate rivalry much more in the public eye than that between Apple and IBM. We’re talking some Coke/Pepsi, Nike/Reebok, Nintendo/Sega-level competition. In the years that have followed, both Apple and IBM have had their respective ups and downs, and the specialties of each have diverged to the point where the two companies are no longer the rivals they once were. This shift has opened the door for them to start working amicably together, and today we see Apple and IBM announce a new partnership to deliver iOS enterprise services.
IBM MobileFirst for iOS solutions, as the partnership is being called, will see Big Blue call on its strength with data analytics to help develop tools businesses can use on iPhone and iPad hardware to improve their workflow. The arrangement will see the development of new apps, bring IBM cloud services to iOS, and allow IBM to sell Apple hardware pre-loaded with these enterprise tools.
With BlackBerry’s once-enterprise-dominance faltering, competition is fierce to see which mobile companies will rise to fill that gap. Apple’s already seen some solid success in this this field, but a partner with the gravitas of IBM may be just the ticket to help bring on new clients attracted by its years of close industry ties.
Apple’s Tim Cook calls the partnership “a radical step for enterprise and something that only Apple and IBM can deliver.”