Apple and IBM today announced a partnership aimed at leveraging the companies' strengths in selling the iPhone and iPad, along with IBM enterprise apps, to businesses.
According to a press release, the partnership centers around a new class of business apps that will run on iOS devices. The companies are boasting "a new class of more than 100 industry-specific enterprise solutions including native apps, developed exclusively from the ground up, for iPhone and iPad." The program will also include unique IBM cloud services optimized for iOS, including device management, security, analytics and mobile integration.
Apple said it will also offer a new AppleCare service and support tailored to the needs of the enterprise.
The new IBM MobileFirst for iOS solutions will be built in an exclusive collaboration that draws IBM’s big data and analytics capabilities and Apple's devices and easy-to-use UI.
As part of the exclusive IBM MobileFirst for iOS agreement, IBM will also sell iPhones and iPads with the industry-specific solutions to business clients worldwide.
Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, said in a statement that the partnership offers Apple a new area of growth.
“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," Cook said in a statement. "This is a radical step for enterprise and something that only Apple and IBM can deliver.”
A partnership with Apple could add to the company's large share of the enterprise market. According to Good Technology, the iPad accounted for more than 91 percent of enterprise tablet deployments in the fourth quarter of 2013, while the iPhone represented 54 percent of smartphones activated by the more than 2000 companies in Good's network.
Shares of Apple were up over 1.5 percent in aftermarket trading to $96.85.