Apple and IBM have partnered for a major initiative to bring more iOS devices and solutions to the workplace. And by more, we mean a lot.
The exclusive partnership centers around a new class of business apps that will infuse IBM's data and analytics prowess into the iPhone and iPad, turning Apple's consumer-centric tech into more enterprise-friendly tools, though that's not all.
As part of the deal, IBM will develop more than 100 industry-specific apps developed exclusively for Apple's mobile devices, including native applications.
Furthermore, IBM will provide cloud services optimized for iOS that include device management, security, analytics and mobile integration, a new AppleCare for Enterprise service and support tailored to enterprise.
IBM also plans to launch new packaged offerings for device activation, supply and management. It will sell iPhones and iPads equipped with industry-specific solutions to its global corporate customers.
IBM and Apple are historic rivals, but the two are ready to put aside the past and focus on building mobile solutions for big business.
"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," Apple CEO Tim Cook said in an announcement. "This is a radical step for enterprise and something that only Apple and IBM can deliver."
In an interview with Re/code, Cook noted that to provide the solutions Apple and IBM can come up with together on its own, Apple would have to start a brand-new division.
"We're good at building a simple experience and in building devices," Cook told the site. "The kind of deep industry expertise you would need to really transform the enterprise isn't in our DNA. But it is in IBM's."
The partnership broadens IBM's MobileFirst initiative into MobileFirst for iOS Solutions. These "made-for-business apps" will focus on retail, healthcare, banking, travel and transportation, telecomm, insurance and more, and are due out beginning this year and into 2015.
The new AppleCare for Enterprise will provide IT departments and end users with 24/7 support, while IBM will provide on-site service.
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