What Apple, Inc. gets from its new iOS partnership with IBM

Posted:
in iPad edited July 2014
Apple's newly announced mobile partnership with IBM has been greeted by a number of analysts and pundits as being both "not that big a deal," or conversely, the dramatic reversal of a long standing rivalry. Both are wrong, here's why.

Apple IBM

No big deal?

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster offered one of the least enthusiastic views on the announcement, noting that Apple already has significant enterprise penetration while postulating that even "if half of the Fortune 500 were to each purchase an incremental 2,000 iPhones and 1,000 iPads above what they were planning to purchase as a result of the IBM deal, it would mean about a half a percent to CY15 revenue."

Munster also offered a broad interpretation of the "exclusive partnership" the two companies detailed, writing, "we expect IBM to eventually offer similar solutions on Android over time."

"Robert X. Cringely" similarly offered a dim view of IBM's business apps and flatly predicted that "iOS cloud services from IBM won't happen," concluding that "neither company will be seriously affected by the other. It's just not that big a deal."

IBM's existing mobile business apps and cloud services certainly don't look capable of dramatically boosting Apple's iOS sales on their own. But that's not what the companies announced. Instead, the two described "exclusive" plans to work together to "transform enterprise mobility through a new class of business apps."

As noted in greater detail below, the language both companies use in describing their partnership indicates that it is not merely an effort to sell a few companies an extra thousand iPads. Apple and IBM have big goals in mind.

Apple and IBM have lots of history as close allies

At the same time, Apple and IBM are not suddenly working together for the first time. We're a very long ways from 1982, when IBM entered the new microcomputer market that Apple had ignited with the Apple II. Apple initially "welcomed" IBM to the computer market (below), as a much larger competitor.

image


It subsequently portrayed Big Blue as a 1984 Big Brother in 1984 with its iconic original ad for the Macintosh. It then insulted IBM and its customers even more explicitly in "Lemmings," a second and even more provocative SuperBowl ad that portrayed blindfolded PC users marching themselves off a cliff.




By the late 80s, IBM had lost control of the PC to Microsoft on its own, and failed to win it back with its proprietary design for new PS/2 systems. While IBM sold notebooks and tablets that competed against Apple's PowerBooks and Newton MessagePads in the 1990s, throughout that decade Apple and IBM actually aligned to work together in several major projects.

The AIM Alliance between Apple, IBM and Motorola scaled down IBM's POWER RISC server chipset into the PowerPC processor that was used in Macs starting in 1994 and continuing into 2006.

PowerPC


Apple also collaborated with IBM to develop "Macintosh Application Services" to host PowerPC Mac software on IBM's AIX Unix workstations, and in parallel shipped IBM's AIX on its own high end Apple Network Server in 1996.

In parallel with PowerPC, the Taligent project teamed Apple's future plans for "Pink," a new OS intended to replace System 7, with IBM's parallel efforts for Workplace OS. It intended to develop a new OS microkernel capable of supporting Macs, OS/2 and Unix, and developed object oriented frameworks pattered after Steve Jobs' NeXT. Taligent primarily aimed to copy NeXT and steal away Jobs' early supporters (including IBM, and later HP).

After the Taligent partnership collapsed, Apple decided to acquire NeXT as the foundation for its advanced new Mac OS X instead.

Kaleida Labs was a third high profile partnership between Apple in IBM in the early 1990s, aimed at creating a cross platform, scriptable multimedia development platform. The collaboration effectively raided Apple's QuickTime team of talent and spent tens of millions of dollars before collapsing in failure in 1996. Its role was supplanted by Macromedia Director, and then by the web, particularly through plugins like Java and Flash.

Apple & IBM partnerships in the 2000s

Apple's acquisition of Jobs' NeXT in 1996 further helped to align the company with IBM as a co-competitor to Microsoft and an ally to Unix and open source software. In 2005 IBM sold its PC business to Lenovo. It increasingly threw its support behind Linux, and in 2007 created a fork of OpenOffice that it sold as a Microsoft Office competitor named IBM Lotus Symphony.

In 2007, IBM's Research Information Services conducted a study that provided employees with MacBook Pros rather than Windows machines. Employee feedback noted comments including, "this can free us from the Windows stranglehold," and "I have been a true PC stalwart for 2+ decades, but after trying Vista, I'm ready for a change."

The next year, IBM ported its Informix Data Server to OS X Server and announced plans to bring Lotus Notes (IBM's competitor to Microsoft's Exchange) and the Symphony office app suite to Apple's Mac and iOS platforms.

IBM now has a portfolio of dozens of enterprise apps for iOS, and was in fact one of the first App Store developers to embrace the platform in 2008 before Apple had even released its iPhone SDK and App Store.

IBM targets Big Data on the big platform

The big news of the new partnership between Apple and IBM therefore is neither that they are now working together for the first time, nor that IBM offers some apps for iOS devices. What's new is the clearly emphasized exclusivity of the relationship, and the future direction for new iOS apps, management tools and cloud services.

IBM already provides Android phone support roughly on par with iPhone, and Android tablet support that's nearly the same as its iPad's. It also offers support for BlackBerry, PlayBook, BB10, Windows Phone, Windows RT and even Symbian. IBM's new apps will exclusively target iOS however.



That makes sense because IBM will be selling and leasing iOS devices, but also because IBM can now focus on developing native apps for the single platform that is already being broadly used in the enterprise, without spending lots of resources testing and maintaining support for a broad array of OS versions and APIs and a bewildering range of hardware devices.

In parallel with the development of Apple's iOS platform over the last seven years, IBM has moved away from selling office apps (abandoning its OpenOffice / Symphony suite) to instead focus on providing managed cloud infrastructure, consulting and management services, as well as "big data" analysis.

IBM's SmartCloud hosts public cloud services for customers (comparable to Amazon Web Services) and also offers private cloud services, where IBM sells the customer servers they then own and operate. Equipment can alternatively be leased from and/or managed onsite by IBM.

The partnership specifically outlined, "IBM's big data and analytics capabilities, with the power of more than 100,000 IBM industry and domain consultants and software developers behind it," will be used to "create apps that can transform specific aspects of how businesses and employees work using iPhone and iPad."

One taste of IBM's big data analytics has appeared over the last two holiday shopping seasons. In 2012, the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark highlighted (below) that most shopping was being done on iOS devices--even before the media was manipulated to report that Apple had run out of "innovation" and that Android and Samsung were "taking over" mobile devices.



The following year, IBM's analytics revealed that the divide had grown even greater, with Apple's iOS users now accounting for five times the orders of Android users. The media's handwringing about Apple throughout in 2013 had temporality affected the company's stock price, but wasn't affecting the results that matter in the device market.

The ability to correctly identify those kinds of trends--without the facts being contaminated by ignorance or wishful thinking--is critically important to business users. That explains why the partnership's announcement described new apps powered by such analytics as "allowing companies to achieve new levels of efficiency, effectiveness and customer satisfaction."

As Apple noted, IBM has "established the world's deepest portfolio in Big Data and Analytics consulting and technology expertise based on experiences drawn from more than 40,000 data and analytics client engagements. This analytics portfolio spans research and development, solutions, software and hardware, and includes more than 15,000 analytics consultants, 4,000 analytics patents, 6,000 industry solution business partners, and 400 IBM mathematicians who are helping clients use big data to transform their organizations."

iWork Enterprise

Apple has its own iWork apps for small business and education users, it recently gained Microsoft's Office mobile apps (currently exclusively) on iPad, and is now working with IBM to develop "a new class of 'made-for-business apps' targeting specific industry issues or opportunities in retail, healthcare, banking, travel and transportation, telecommunications and insurance, among others, that will become available starting this fall and into 2015."

Rather than just being some new App Store titles listed by IBM, the companies have outlined that IBM will be selling Apple's iOS as part of its own MobileFirst platform, which will "deliver the services required for an end-to-end enterprise capability, from analytics, workflow and cloud storage, to fleet-scale device management, security and integration."

Additionally, "enhanced mobile management includes a private app catalog, data and transaction security services, and productivity suite for all IBM MobileFirst for iOS solutions. In addition to on-premise software solutions, all these services will be available on Bluemix--IBM's development platform on the IBM Cloud Marketplace."IBM is providing all the things Apple hasn't ever been very good at or shown much interest in doing itself

That means IBM is providing all the things Apple hasn't ever been very good at or shown much interest in doing itself, from selling consultation and support services, to building and maintaining server infrastructure and custom apps for clients. That includes enhancing AppleCare for enterprise users with "on-site service delivered by IBM."

IBM is also providing "device supply, activation and management services for iPhone and iPad, with leasing options." Those again are the kinds of services that HP and Dell were historically much better than Apple at providing for the PC industry.

With BYOD, Apple got its foot in the door and iOS devices became broadly adopted by business and government users. Partnering with IBM, Apple can work on turning its mobile devices into an enterprise volume play.

Apple, IBM are thinking big

So far, the market appears to have seen Apple and IBM as an obvious threat to BlackBerry, which certainly does have much left to lose: 72 million subscribers as of the first quarter of 2014. iPhones have taken a painful bite out of BlackBerry's enterprise sales, but iPads target something different: conventional PCs.



This makes Munster's estimates of Apple potentially selling only an additional '2,000 iPhones and 1,000 iPads' to half of the Fortune 500 via some new IBM apps particularly confusing. Apple quite clearly plans to aggressively target enterprise PC sales--a substantial market--with its Post-PC mobile devices. Tim Cook addresses the iPad's widely acknowledged potential to eclipse PC sales at every opportunity.

"We continue to believe that the tablet market will surpass the PC market in size within the next few years and we believe that Apple will be a major beneficiary of this trend," Cook stated in the company's April earnings call."We continue to believe that the tablet market will surpass the PC market in size within the next few years and we believe that Apple will be a major beneficiary of this trend " - Tim Cook

Apple already has no problem selling fleets of tens of thousands of iPhones and iPads to corporate, government and education buyers. It would only need IBM's help to target the conventional PC for mass eradication throughout the enterprise, driven using innovative, exclusive native apps capable of radically changing how companies use technology. Apple's description of IBM makes it very clear that's exactly what both companies plan to achieve.

On its new iPad business site, the company states "Apple and IBM are working together to bring iPhone, iPad, and IBM MobileFirst for iOS apps to enterprises around the world. Our exclusive global partnership will deliver a new class of apps that connect users to big data and analytics right on their iOS devices with more ease and efficiency than ever before. Apple and IBM are redefining the mobile enterprise by combining the exponential power of corporate data with the world's best mobile technology."

In its original press release Apple stated, "IBM's 5,000 mobile experts have been at the forefront of mobile enterprise innovation. IBM has secured more than 4,300 patents in mobile, social and security, that have been incorporated into IBM MobileFirst solutions that enable enterprise clients to radically streamline and accelerate mobile adoption, help organizations engage more people and capture new markets."

Additionally, "IBM has made a dozen acquisitions in security in the past decade, has more than 6,000 security researchers and developers in its 25 security labs worldwide that work on developing enterprise-class solutions."

Apple's own strategy in acquisitions (as well as in patents) has generally targeted the rapid implementation of differentiating features and technologies (such as Touch ID, the custom silicon in the A7 chip, and features ranging from Siri to face recognition to iTunes Radio to App Store enhancements).

By partnering with IBM, Apple can leverage outside expertise in security, social and mobile deployment without distracting itself from its core competency in building hardware, software and platforms.

And now, a warning

In retrospect, the historical partnerships between Apple and IBM didn't have a very good track record. Taligent and Kaleida were total failures, while PowerPC failed to keep up with the pace of the greater market. IBM Lotus Notes and Symphony did not exactly transform the industry on any platform.

But today's Apple and IBM share little in common with their previous incarnations in the 1990s. Apple is now not only very successful and profitable, but has a virtual lock on mobile enterprise products, and in particular devices with a sophisticated native app development platform (as opposed to BlackBerry's messaging-centric platform built as a simple Java VM).



Where Microsoft once ruled the enterprise and partnered with a series of companies that shut Apple out, it is now frantically trying to maintain the status quo for Windows (even as its customers reject Microsoft's current direction) as it flip flops between strategic directions in other markets.

From last year's "devices and services" plan, which notably failed to sell devices, to its latest nebulous cloud strategy that failed to really articulate a specific strategy at all, Microsoft is currently presiding over a stagnant market for conventional PCs that virtually every market research firm sees as being overtaken by tablets, and specifically Apple's iPad.

That fact highlights another reality: since the iPad's debut in 2010, marketing companies have deliberately framed it as a niche device with no possible impact on PC market, using selected data teased into conclusions that consistently flattered Microsoft regardless of the data involved.

With a major ally in IBM helping to sell its products, Apple will likely face less overtly deceptive media coverage denying the now clear and obvious shift occurring as conventional PCs are replaced and augmented by more mobile--and much easier to manage--post PC devices.
«13

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 55
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Where does the iBeacon fit in here? If companies are to turn IBM big data analytics on their own operations (i.e. to find efficiencies) they will possibly need trackers/sensors around the enterprise.
  • Reply 2 of 55
    Most Microsoft partnerships end in tears. For the other partner.
  • Reply 3 of 55
    lorin schultzlorin schultz Posts: 2,582member

    I get the strategy, and here's hoping it works, but I just don't see tablets really taking hold for most workers. The form factor just isn't as good as a plain ol' keyboard and mouse with a big screen or two for either looking at stuff or inputting stuff.

     

    Admittedly there are all kinds of opportunities for new applications, like retail floor staff and nurses, but for jobs that don't require carrying a computer around with you, like a travel agent or stockbroker, a tablet is just more hassle to work with than a traditional PC layout.

     

    Maybe if Apple creates some kind of dock (for lack of a better term) that lets users tie it to a real keyboard and maybe an external monitor it could take a real crack at the desktop, but I just don't think a tablet is particularly well suited to cubicle dwellers.

     

    Either way, it'll be fun to see how hardware for the post-PC era plays out, whether the hardware evolves to accommodate working styles besides stab-and-swipe while holding the device, or if people will just adapt to interacting with flat computers.

  • Reply 4 of 55
    singularitysingularity Posts: 1,329member
    There are several ways this partnership will end and it will end at some point. Either Apple will shut out IBM once it has achieved enough penetration and expertise in supplying enterprise customers or IBM will use the experience they've gained on the Apple ecosystem to replicate it to other platforms. If it's the apps the enterprise customers want and need then does the form factor matter (it does matter to consumers but to big businesses and their bean counter?).
    Apple needs to ensure its the hardware supplier that gets entrentched to the standard user.
  • Reply 5 of 55
    applesauce007applesauce007 Posts: 1,587member

    To understand this partnership, you must understand today's IBM a bit and most people don't.

    The fact is most of the IBM backend products and solutions quietly, securely and reliably affect all of our lives every day.

     

    We don't talk about them much because they are not sexy like iPhones and iPads but IBM has a lot of great enterprise stuff that Apple does not have and needs to really break into the enterprise.  We're talking very secure and reliable big iron, big data environments that run the financial markets, the airline industry, education, health care, communication, automotive, retail, energy and utilities etc...

     

    This deal is a shot across the bows of the Microsoft, Oracle and SAPs of the world.  Apple & IBM have a 3 year head start integrating the best mobile platform around in terms of platform security, ease of use and software development with very strong backend offerings from IBM. 

     

    Note the parallelism between IBM and Apple in 2 different worlds.

    They both make their own Hardware, Processors, Operating Systems and Software. They both have bleeding edge research teams and a ton of Patents. There is great synergy between their products and no overlaps; not just using mobile iPad and iPhones as front ends for IBM's business software but other things like Apple's SIRI with IBM's Watson and Deep Blue in the back end for example or taking IBM's research findings and creating insanely great products.  Synergy in micro processor designs, artificial intelligence, advanced research etc...

     

    image

    image

     

    image

     

    Note that IBM is no longer in the Wintel desktop and server business so there is synergy in desktops and laptops as well. Moreover, remember that iOS is a derivative of Mac OS X so the software is easily portable.

     

    If Apple & IBM can securely and reliably bring out the richness and power of these systems to the mobile world, they can again revolutionize the computer industry.  Depending on the success of this partnership and considering that today's IBM is a perfect complement for Apple in the enterprise with zero overlap, I predict that it may make sense in the long term for Apple to buy IBM in order to provide better integrated solutions from one company.  

     

    Tim is thinking BIG folks... way beyond the comprehension of the anal-ysts.

     

    IBM Industry Solutions

            Aerospace and defense

            Automotive

            Banking

            Chemicals and petroleum

            Communications

            Consumer products

            Education

            Electronics

            Energy and utilities

            Financial markets

            Government

            Healthcare

            Insurance

            Life sciences

            Media and entertainment

            Metals and mining

            Retail

            Smarter City Operations

            Travel and transportation

     

     

    Business services

            Application innovation

            Business analytics

            Business strategy

            IBM Interactive Experience

            Midmarket expertise

            All business services

     

    IT services

            Business continuity and resiliency

            Cloud

            Data center

            Integrated communications

            Enterprise mobility services

            Managed services

            Security

            Software

            Strategy and design

            Systems lab

            Technical Support

            Workplace services

     

    Outsourcing services

            Application management

            Global process services

            IT infrastructure services

            IT outsourcing

     

    Training

            Offerings

            Certification

            Conferences & events

     

    Additional services

            Consulting alliances

            IT services financing

            Mobile enterprise services

            Project financing

            Working capital

     

  • Reply 6 of 55
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member

    I remember when the original iPhone was announced. All of the Windows Mobile blogs proclaimed that it would never be a success since it wasn't focused on enterprise users. They were wrong.

     

    Enterprise doesn't matter anymore. Consumers drive demand. 

     

    That hasn't changed since the original iPhone. Quite the opposite - the growing trend of BYOD is only decreasing the relevance of enterprise to a device's success. That's why the analytics aren't that impressed by the announcement and I don't blame them. A deal like this is never going to be as important as, say, a deal with a big carrier like China Mobile.

  • Reply 7 of 55
    I get the strategy, and here's hoping it works, but I just don't see tablets really taking hold for most workers. The form factor just isn't as good as a plain ol' keyboard and mouse with a big screen or two for either looking at stuff or inputting stuff.

    Admittedly there are all kinds of opportunities for new applications, like retail floor staff and nurses, but for jobs that don't require carrying a computer around with you, like a travel agent or stockbroker, a tablet is just more hassle to work with than a traditional PC layout.


    Maybe if Apple creates some kind of dock (for lack of a better term) that lets users tie it to a real keyboard and maybe an external monitor it could take a real crack at the desktop, but I just don't think a tablet is particularly well suited to cubicle dwellers.

    Either way, it'll be fun to see how hardware for the post-PC era plays out, whether the hardware evolves to accommodate working styles besides stab-and-swipe while holding the device, or if people will just adapt to interacting with flat computers.

    I can't believe you don't know you can pair up ANY bluetooth keyboard with an iPad... as for a monitor, is a 60' TV not big enough for you, via an Apple TV???

    The sweet thing is, neither of these things require cables, so you are free to go with your iPad without unhooking a single wire. No need for a dock either!
  • Reply 8 of 55
    richl wrote: »
    I remember when the original iPhone was announced. All of the Windows Mobile blogs proclaimed that it would never be a success since it wasn't focused on enterprise users. They were wrong.

    Enterprise doesn't matter anymore. Consumers drive demand. 

    That hasn't changed since the original iPhone. Quite the opposite - the growing trend of BYOD is only decreasing the relevance of enterprise to a device's success. That's why the analytics aren't that impressed by the announcement and I don't blame them. A deal like this is never going to be as important as, say, a deal with a big carrier like China Mobile.

    You really REALLY need to think about the LONG game.

    It was enterprise that made the IBM PC a standard. Not Microsoft. Apple was well along with sales of Apple II computers to small businesses and consumers and had made a tiny impact into enterprise. IBM had the clout and credibility to convince enterprise to move to the PC. Once that happened the Mac was toast. All the consumers in the world buying Macs never made Macs a favorite of Enterprise, except for the school market.
  • Reply 9 of 55
    There are several ways this partnership will end and it will end at some point. Either Apple will shut out IBM once it has achieved enough penetration and expertise in supplying enterprise customers or IBM will use the experience they've gained on the Apple ecosystem to replicate it to other platforms. If it's the apps the enterprise customers want and need then does the form factor matter (it does matter to consumers but to big businesses and their bean counter?).
    Apple needs to ensure its the hardware supplier that gets entrentched to the standard user.

    Of course everything comes to an end sometime. Eternity is really really long. But I don't see either partner screwing the other to take all the marbles. What will happen is that machines will get so smart that people will become redundant ... some other paradigm will prevail.
  • Reply 10 of 55
    bugsnwbugsnw Posts: 711member

    Well I'm glad Dan wrote this article. I was waiting for it to see if he could explain it without all the corporate jargon. I'm not sure I understand it, even after reading his article. Not a criticism as I sure wouldn't want to wade through the particulars...

     

    That's one thing I really miss about Jobs. Throughout the year, he'd email someone or post something and his touch was always present in announcements and various marketing spots. He would have had a one paragraph summation of this deal that would have made all our our sphincters contract with delight.

     

    Cook did give a good example in yesterday's video. My dad was a captain of Alaska Airlines and they had to carry a large bag full of notebooks that had airport and other navigation information. Now pilots simply carry on their iPads. Even better, an LCD should be built into the aircraft with the relevant data able to display as needed.

     

    So that was one example that I understood. I like that there will be an ability for the pilot to use some app that's tied into a fueling depot database or something and be able to estimate the required fuel given the weather and load and pricing.

     

    Maybe if they had a killer app that showed something, many of us would have been more excited. I wish Cook had that ability to distill things down like Jobs did. Killer analogies were a bonus.

     

    I've never seen so much vapid prose since this deal was announced. It's difficult to read and all the empty phrasing just makes my eyes roll back.

     

    How about we get Craig Federighi on this? I'm a smart guy but I'm flummoxed.

  • Reply 11 of 55
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post





    You really REALLY need to think about the LONG game.

     

    The game has changed. Enterprise simply isn't as important as it once was. 

  • Reply 12 of 55
    muaddibmuaddib Posts: 41member

    I am looking forward to IBM iOS apps that will access Watson.  Hopefully they will have a consumer version, maybe a Jeopardy edition :D.  Even better Apple could license the Watson technology and merge it into Siri, then we would be one step closer to the Knowledge Navigator.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knowledge_Navigator

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRH8eimU_20

     

     Also I wonder if IBM uses the Swift language to program the apps could they easily make an OSX version as well and further increase Mac penetration in enterprise? 

  • Reply 13 of 55
    darklitedarklite Posts: 229member

    I don't understand this graph. Why does the right side add to 100% while the left side adds to 24%? What are these mysterious non-Android, non-iOS 'mobile devices' being used for 76% of purchases?

  • Reply 14 of 55
    dewmedewme Posts: 1,934member

    Good balance by Daniel of both the strategic and tactical perspectives of this alliance. I'm quite surprised that Robert X. Cringely takes such a monochromatic and tactical view and treats this as simply a tweak to the distribution channel, like Apple selling through a pizza delivery retailer. I'll take a medium pepperoni, cheezy bread, and an iPad Mini. I've always respected Bob's perspectives and his nerdliness. I hope he hasn't started to go the way of the Dodo and the Dvorak.

     

    The traditional PC versus iPad arguments almost always jump way too quickly to the either-or fallacy. There will always be a market for bigass computers with huge screens and keyboards and always attached peripherals (wired or wireless). It just won't ever again be the only choice. Thankfully! What iPad brings to the table is another alternative form factor computing appliance that is very personal and very immersive for the multitudes of people who don't need or want big honking versions of industrial workplace inspired machinery sitting in their family rooms and home offices. Yeah there are some people whose lives revolve around the machinery for work and/or hobby purposes. I once had a neighbor who had a full blown and fully operational DEC PDP11 system in his garage. However, for many and possibly most people it's the value and function of what a computer delivers that matters. The less it invades their personal space and intrudes on their refuge-from-work, the better. Choice is a wonderful thing, and Apple has a great portfolio of choices to fill a broad range of computing needs with the least amount of compromise.

     

    To me "Post PC" really means a transition from categories of computing devices that required users to adapt to the needs of the computer (e.g., forcing humans to communicate to computers via a terribly inefficient and arcane contraption called a "keyboard") to categories of computers that adapt to the needs of users (e.g., allowing humans to communicate to computers using natural mechanisms like touch, motion, and voice). The iPad is just the beginning of the advent of truly "personal" computing devices. 

     

    In retrospect the "P" in PC was a terrible insider joke for the generations of computers that industry foisted upon end users. They had their laugh at our expense. We jumped through their hoops and bought their contractions and clap trap just so we could experience the benefits of computing if even just at a primordial level. Now the tables have turned. Thank you iPad, thank you Google Glass, and thank you in advance for whatever next wave of truly personal computing that Apple is dreaming up in its labs today.

  • Reply 15 of 55
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    I guess I don't find this partnership confusing or difficult to understand. Apple's specialty is not the enterprise. Apple 2.0 under Jobs didn't really care about the enterprise; it was all about consumers. Apple doesn't have a large sales force that they send in to Fortune 500 companies to negotiate big deals. That is IBMs specialty. In I order for Apple to do this on their own it would require a huge cultural change. I think it's better for Apple to remain true to what it is and what it does best (like Cook said building devices and providing simple experiences) and partner with someone like IBM that has expertise where Apple doesn't and isn't in direct competition with Apple (like Microsoft is). Also, iOS devices might be in 95% of Fortune 500 companies but Cook's comments make me believe the penetration isn't deep and a lot more iOS devices could be sold in the enterprise. The only thing I'm curious about is Apple isn't known for sharing product roadmaps and I wonder as the more seriously they focus on the enterprise will they be forced to open up a big more on future products? Because that certainly would be a huge culture shift for the company.
  • Reply 16 of 55
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,505member
    bugsnw wrote: »
    Well I'm glad Dan wrote this article. I was waiting for it to see if he could explain it without all the corporate jargon. I'm not sure I understand it, even after reading his article. Not a criticism as I sure wouldn't want to wade through the particulars...

    That's one thing I really miss about Jobs. Throughout the year, he'd email someone or post something and his touch was always present in announcements and various marketing spots. He would have had a one paragraph summation of this deal that would have made all our our sphincters contract with delight.

    Cook did give a good example in yesterday's video. My dad was a captain of Alaska Airlines and they had to carry a large bag full of notebooks that had airport and other navigation information. Now pilots simply carry on their iPads. Even better, an LCD should be built into the aircraft with the relevant data able to display as needed.

    So that was one example that I understood. I like that there will be an ability for the pilot to use some app that's tied into a fueling depot database or something and be able to estimate the required fuel given the weather and load and pricing.

    Maybe if they had a killer app that showed something, many of us would have been more excited. I wish Cook had that ability to distill things down like Jobs did. Killer analogies were a bonus.

    I've never seen so much vapid prose since this deal was announced. It's difficult to read and all the empty phrasing just makes my eyes roll back.

    How about we get Craig Federighi on this? I'm a smart guy but I'm flummoxed.

    This may help -- here's a one-paragraph summation -- one six-word sentence, actually (emphasis mine):
    An Apple and IBM partnership makes sense in the same way Apple selling its products through Walmart makes sense. Apple defended selling through Walmart by saying “Their stores are where ours aren’t.” The kinds of large enterprises where IBM has a presence are the places where Apple has the least penetration. iPads and iPhones are probably present in the executive offices and the sales force, but less so in other departments where central IT rules with impunity.

    http://verynicewebsite.net/2014/07/making-sense-of-apple-and-ibm/

    via Gruber

    IDK, who at Apple was quoted -- but it sounds like something Tim would say!
  • Reply 17 of 55
    dugbugdugbug Posts: 283member
    This is the best explanation I have seen:
    http://techpinions.com/apple-and-ibm-storm-the-enterprise/32784

    IBM is not in the phone/tablet device business, nor do they have their own OS variant. They are in the enterprise and big data business, squarely where Apple has no plans.

    IBM isn't even in the PC box business for that matter. They provide to apple instant street cred with enterprise IT and will support iOS devices at an enterprise level. On the flip side, IBM gets an exclusive arrangement with the world's most popular tablet and phone without manufacturing their own or partnering with a company they also compete with.
  • Reply 18 of 55
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    I was listening to the Your Mac Life podcast with Shawn King (who also posts at the Loop) and what he heard from people directly involved in this partnership is IBM will be able to sell any Apple product, not just iPhones and iPads. So this deal could increase Mac penetration in the enterprise. Especially with the Continuity features announced at WWDC.
  • Reply 19 of 55
    steven n.steven n. Posts: 1,102member
    richl wrote: »
    The game has changed. Enterprise simply isn't as important as it once was. 

    But it is important. If you, as a consumer, can have a single iOS device for both work and office (or 2 of the same device) easily VS an Android that may or may not be supported, the convergence will help drive consumer adoption of iOS.
  • Reply 20 of 55
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    OT: Microsoft just announced they're laying off 14% of their workforce which translates to ~18,000 employees. Wow! :wow: The rumors were saying only 5-6 thousand. Wall Street likes it though as the stock is way up pre-market.
Sign In or Register to comment.