News Column

Apple, IBM plan to pump out apps

July 15, 2014

By Gary Strauss and Mike Snider, USA TODAY



Tech giants IBM and Apple are teaming up to develop scores of business apps that will marry Big Blue's big data capabilities to Apple's user-friendly iPads and iPhones.

The business enterprise partnership, announced after Tuesday's market close, aims to "redefine the way work will get done, address key industry mobility challenges and spark true mobile-led business change," the companies said in a joint statement.

Appearing on business cable channel CNBC, IBM chief executive Virginia Rometty and Apple CEO Tim Cook said the companies were working on more than 100 business software programs for Apple's iOS operating system, which will be available this fall.

Rometty said the apps would address specific industry needs, such as helping airline pilots save fuel, and could be used in a wide range of business applications, turning iPads and smartphones into money-saving tools. "This can save 10% to 15% for an airline deployed widely," Rometty said.

Apple shares rose $1.51 to $96.83 in after-market trading. IBM gained $3.41 to $191.90. The companies, former PC world adversaries, have worked together on the venture for several months.

"We are in independent positions of strength," Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president of global business service at IBM, told USA TODAY. "We are the gold standards for enterprise (IBM), and consumer and design (Apple)."

Apple's first major joint venture partnership in years is "absolutely huge; it's landmark," Cook said. "It takes the best of IBM and Apple. There's no overlap. It's totally complementary."

Analysts applauded the move, which will expand Apple's consumer base into business and burnish IBM's big-data analytics capabilities. IBM will sell iPhones and iPads to business clients under an exclusive IBM MobileFirst for iOS agreement. "They really do complement each other," said Richard Doherty, director of the Envisioneering Group.




Manu Fernandez, AP


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Source: USA Today


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