Last week IBM and Apple announced that they have teamed up for a mobile partnership. The former rivals will be working together on over 100 business apps on a wide range of industries. The apps, slated to be released in the fall of 2014, will feature some of IBM’s data-crunching tools.
The partnership is being referred to as The Odd Couple of the technology industry – but is the pairing really that odd?
In fact, IBM and Apple have an amiable history. Not only did the industry giants (along with Motorola) collaborate in 1991 to create the PowerPC processors, but current Apple CEO Tim Cook worked for IBM for about 12 years prior to joining Apple.
The truth of the matter is that while the two companies are both leaders in the technological world, Apple and IBM occupy very different market niches and rarely compete. When Apple dove into the mobile world with the iPhone and iPad, IBM focused on creating the highest caliber of security and computers for enterprise with products like the System x server series.*
IBM’s enterprise expertise is big pull for Apple, whose knowledge base focuses on consumer use, and the partnership has the potential to fine tune and expand IBM’s big-data analytics capability. But perhaps more interestingly is the partnership’s ability to grow IBM’s mobile reach to more industries than ever before.
Ginny Rometty, IBM’s CEO, explains that the apps being developed using IBM’s technology would address targeted industry needs. Integrating powerful data analyzing tools such as those being crafted by IBM have the potential to drastically improve service industries, and increase IBM’s global reach via the mobile circuit.
*System x division sold to Lenovo in 2014.