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Apple just made a huge move that will bring iOS to more enterprise customers than ever before

Updated Jul 15th, 2014 4:54PM EDT
Apple IBM iOS Enterprise Partnership

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Apple and IBM used to be the bitterest of arch-rivals in the personal computer market in the ’80s but now they’re teaming up to help bring iOS to more enterprise customers than ever before. Re/code reports that Apple and IBM have agreed to an exclusive new partnership that will “help companies deploy wireless devices and business-specific applications to run on them” using iOS as the primary platform.

Why did Apple decide to take the plunge and team up with the company that cofounder Steve Jobs used to trash publicly on a regular basis? Apple CEO Tim Cook explained that the two companies really have strengths that compliment one another well and that the two companies are no longer competitors in any sense of the word.

“We’re good at building a simple experience and in building devices,” Cook said. “The kind of deep industry expertise you would need to really transform the enterprise isn’t in our DNA. But it is in IBM’s.”

CNBC reports that as part of the deal IBM will build more than 100 enterprise-centric iOS apps and will exclusively sell iOS-based smartphones and tablets to its customers as wireless enterprise devices.

IBM took itself out of competition with Apple last decade when it spun off its PC business and decided to focus solely on enterprise-centric products. At the same time, Apple emerged as the most valuable tech company in the world by similarly looking beyond desktop and laptop computers and making its fortune selling mobile devices such as the iPod, iPhone and iPad.

The combination of the two companies will put some added pressure on Microsoft, whose hugely profitable enterprise business has been its biggest strength even as it’s struggled to gain a hold in the mobile device market with Windows Phone devices and its Surface tablets.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.


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