It seems the days of the Mac versus the PC are over. Apple (AAPL) and IBM (IBM), which have been bitter rivals over the past three decades, have called a truce. The two companies are joining forces to provide apps and services that are geared more toward your office space than your personal space.
IBM will create business apps for iPhones and iPads and then sell Apple products to its corporate customers. The partnership will also provide AppleCare support to enterprise clients. Apple and IBM engineers are developing more than 100 new apps for specific industries, including retail, health care, transportation, banking and telecommunications. The apps are expected to debut this fall.
“This is an opportunity for Apple to get in the front door of enterprise with IBM as a partner,” said Art Hogan, Managing Director and Chief Market Strategist at Wunderlich Securities. The corporate market was a big hurdle for Apple and a partnership with IBM makes a great deal of sense, he said. The move could also transform Apple from a mostly consumer focused company and brand to a true player in the corporate world.
The deal also ups the ante for competitors in the enterprise market. Hogan says the biggest loser from the partnership is likely to be Blackberry (BBRY), which once had a stranglehold on the enterprise mobile market. Blackberry been struggling to make a comeback after years of declining sales.
Microsoft (MSFT) is also likely to feel the heat as it tries to migrate business users over to its new Windows 8 operating system, and pushes further into cloud and mobile services for corporate clients.
The two companies did not disclose the financial terms of the deal.
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