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Apple and IBM fiddle iPhone and iPad to take chunk out of Microsoft's enterprise

James Temperton
16 Jul 2014
Tim Cook, Apple CEO and Ginni Rometty, IBM CEO
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New apps and services from Apple and IBM aim to make iPhone and iPad first choice for business and enterprise

More than 100 new business applications are being developed by Apple and IBM in a bid to make the iPhone and iPad the go-to apps for enterprise. A deal between the two tech giants will see IBM develop cloud services especially for iOS in a move aimed squarely at disrupting Microsoft's dominance in the market.

Apple boss Tim Cook said the deal represented a "large market opportunity" for the company, with IBM creating new software and systems to bring enterprise to iOS. A new suite of IBM business apps designed for iOS will target retail, healthcare, banking, travel, transportation, telecoms and insurance with the first apps available later this year.

A new mobile platform dubbed IBM MobileFirst for iOS is designed to deliver analytics, workflow, cloud storage, device management and security services to iPhone and iPad. AppleCare for Enterprise will provide around the clock IT support while IBM will also start selling iPhones and iPads pre-loaded with its software and services.

Apple pointed to IBM's huge portfolio of mobile payments as a key factor in the deal. The company employs more than 5,000 people in mobile and has over 4,300 patents in mobile, social and security technologies.

IBM's new MobileFirst Supply and Management service will sell, run and manage iOS devices sold as part of the partnership, giving IT departments to purchase devices in bulk for employees.

"This alliance with Apple will build on our momentum in bringing these innovations to our clients globally, and leverages IBM’s leadership in analytics, cloud, software and services," said IBM CEO Ginni Rommetty.

She added that the deal with Apple could transform the way that companies and business operate and perform. The two companies claimed that their "shared vision" for the partnership was to deliver the "essential elements" for enterprise on mobile.

Apple said that it already worked with 98 per cent of Fortune 500 companies and that over 92 per cent of Global 500 companies already used iOS devices in some way.

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