Former rivals Apple and IBM have teamed up to target iPhones and iPads at business users. Apple’s famous 1984 advert depicted itself as an insurgent, targeting the then-dominant IBM. The fortunes of the two companies changed over the next three decades, with Apple now a leading computing giant.
As a result of the deal, IBM will start selling its business clients Apple’s mobile devices pre-installed with the new software. Apple will provide hardware support for devices through a special AppleCare program designed for big businesses buying Apple gadgets in bulk. It includes benefits like 24/7 assistance.
It appears to signal a move by Apple to sweep up customers from the business world, who are turning away from struggling Blackberry and want an alternative to Microsoft products. IBM already creates social network, email, and chat software for the iOS platform. It has also released apps for devices running Google’s Android operating system.
Apple chief executive Tim Cook said: “We’ve come from 30 years ago being competitors to today being incredibly complementary and I think that the people that will really benefit from this are the enterprise customers who can be more productive running their businesses.” Tuesday’s move boosted both companies, with Apple shares rising by 1.5% in after-hours trading, while IBM’s were up 1.8%.