Apple+IBM: Winners and losers

“IBM and Apple said they have forged an enterprise pact where the two companies will collaborate on exclusive industry-specific applications built on iOS,” Larry Dignan writes for ZDNet. “Apple gets a key enterprise partner without having to exclusively build and market to corporations. IBM gets Apple’s cool factor… Apple CEO Tim Cook gets the enterprise and is an IBM alum.”

Dignan writes, “Clearly, Apple is the biggest winner of the bunch, but IBM also gets its device management software into the flow. IBM has been investing heavily in mobility, specifically mobile commerce. Apple gives IBM consumerization cred.”

And now for those losers:

• Android. Android has a ragtag band of partners in the enterprise, an operating system that has taken security knocks, and multiple versions that make the platform hard to manage. There’s a reason iOS leads in enterprise market share… Google will need partnerships is well taken. The problem is that it’s going to be hard to match IBM’s coverage in one stroke.

• Samsung. Samsung’s business-to-business unit has been the biggest champion of Android in the enterprise. An IBM exclusive with iOS basically locks out Android in the industry-specific application department.

• SAP and Oracle. Both enterprise software giants have been pushing their apps in corporations with a focus on industries they dominate. For companies thinking mobile first, IBM just plowed its way into the conversation.

• Microsoft. The software giant’s biggest play was to get Windows shops — and there are a ton of them in the enterprise — to go with Microsoft on the mobile front too. IBM and iOS will derail those plans somewhat, but not entirely. Microsoft’s mobile device management and collaboration platform will be strong.

• BlackBerry. BlackBerry is caught in the middle of an iOS and Android enterprise war. That position is going to hurt.

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lone Wolf” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Cringely on Apple+IBM: Meh – July 16, 2014
Apple: Morphing into a beautiful masterpiece – July 16, 2014
Don’t fall for those who claim Apple’s new deal with IBM isn’t important — it’s huge – July 16, 2014
Apple+IBM take on the enterprise: Beleaguered Blackberry another big loser – July 16, 2014
Apple puts IBM rivalry to rest with paradigm-smashing corporate sales deal – July 16, 2014
Tim Bajarin: Apple-IBM deal is bad news for Google and Microsoft – July 16, 2014
Jim Cramer: Apple wins again – July 16, 2014
Apple’s IBM alliance kills Google in the enterprise – July 15, 2014
Apple CEO Tim Cook’s memo to employees: IBM deal builds on Apple’s incredible momentum in the enterprise – July 15, 2014
Apple, with IBM, aims to transform and dominate enterprise computing – July 15, 2014
Apple and IBM forge global partnership to transform enterprise mobility – July 15, 2014
Microsoft to begin axing thousands of employees as soon as this week – July 15, 2014


  1. Not an IBM fan so for me the whole thing is a meh moment.

    If I were heavily invested in IBM backend infrastructure I might be interested.

    IBM still has to deliver the goods and I have doubts when it comes to their front end software.

  2. SAP and Oracle are not losers, but they will need to step up their vocal support for iOS to stay on par. The ripple effect through all enterprise suppliers is what makes the IBM partnership a sea change for Apple.

    It will be interesting to see if this expands the iOS-to-Mac halo for Apple too. Even a small change in Mac acceptability in enterprise would be a big sales boost for Apple. If there was ever a time to reignite the PC wars, it is now.

    1. SAP makes crap. I can’t believe how poor their software is. Often, it *requires* Internet Explorer to work.

      I have a friend who is the opposite of me politically. We disagree on pretty much everything. But there is one area where we are in total agreement: SAP software sucks the camel’s winkie.

    1. I’ll admit I’m a bit puzzled. After yesterday’s announcement of the alliance, Apple’s shares were up nearly $2 overnight yet today they got beaten down to a loss. Is it possible that Munster’s analysis was able to take the shares down? I know it doesn’t mean very much but Apple turned out to be a loser of the deal although not as big as BlackBerry which stands to reason.

      OTOH, Microsoft and Intel soared as if on Golden Eagle wings. It’s not the loss that bothers me, it’s the way the tide turned on Apple that’s got me wondering. From a strong positive to a negative is a puzzler. Since the majority of the articles I read were in favor of the alliance, then what caused investors to sell off.

      1. Intel announced strong earnings and forecast future gains which drove the stock. MS is announcing layoffs which cuts costs so profits will be up for a while. If Apple benefits from this deal those gains won’t be realized for at least a year, my guess. Those far off gains won’t drive today’s price.

  3. This whole thing is an IBM publicity stunt. The financial analyst community is pretty unanimous that this pact will have very little impact on either company’s sales.

    It also defies common sense.

    1) The shift to BYOD is a reflection of enterprises not wanting to pay for mobile phones for employees. This announcement is the exact opposite of BYOD.

    2) If you accept the shift to BYOD (which means employees are bringing in both iOS and Android devices), then the idea that IBM is going to push iOS exclusive apps doesn’t work either.

    3) MDM solutions on the market are doing very well accommodating enterprise IT.

    1. Sorry, but this is just wrong.

      1) If you own an Android device and your company goes with Apple hardware and apps, if you value your future at that company, you are going to head straight to AT&T or Best Buy and take advantage of the best deal to switch to an iPhone and iPad that you can find with your next paycheck. Lots of people bought Blackberries and Windows PCs for the same reason: not because they liked them but because their workplaces required it. It is the only reason why Blackberry is still in business at all.

      2) You are taking the position that very many people at the large enterprises that buy IBM hardware and software have Android phones and tablets. They don’t. 96% of them use iPhones, and Android tablets are practically unheard of in the enterprise. And that is probably a good thing, because if more people used Android in the enterprise, you would hear a lot more about Android security issues, Android reliability/performance issues (the lagging and freezing especially when running heavy duty or data intensive apps that businesses need) and the OS fragmentation issues … even a lot of relatively expensive Android devices are still running Jellybean and we do not even want to talk about the mods and forks out there.

      Sorry, but Apple is for people who go to work wearing suits and briefcases and Android is for people who go to work in hard hats and iron toe boots. If Google and the OEMs embrace this as an advantage and put out a quality product for its target market and figures out how to monetize it, then they can still make a ton of money.

  4. How does this hurt Android? This is like saying that a company signing a deal with BMW or Mercedes hurts Ford or Chevy. This is a good space for Apple because it makes premium devices that enterprises with a good bit of capital (the only real market for IBM’s expensive, very complex and difficult to support products) are interested in.

    By contrast, with the exception of a few flagship devices, Android targets middle class, working class and developing world consumers with mostly mid-range and low cost products. Google has not lifted a finger to promote Android (or ChromeOS) in the enterprise despite their massive cloud infrastructure. The only Android vendor that tried to compete in the enterprise was Samsung with their Galaxy Pro (now available at huge discount) and Knox (now abandoned) plus Amazon made some attempts to make their Kindle enterprise appropriate.

    You forget the main driver for Google with Android to begin with: the shift to mobile devices was going to wreck their search business. So they came up with their own platforms (Android and ChromeOS) with the goal of getting them into the hands of as many people as possible so they could make money by using the OS to collect data. It was the decision of individual OEMs, not Google, to try to compete with Apple by coming out with flagship models. And the OEMs did it because they weren’t making money on budget devices so they wanted high-margin devices of their own to sell. That failed also, and now the strategy that most Android OEMs (including Microsoft!) is to sell mid-range phones that allow them to make an acceptable margin per device while still not attempting to compete with the iPhone.

    That’s why you see Apple making all these moves to win the enterprise on one hand and the Android people focusing on increasing sales in third world and developing nations (with not only Android One but Google’s using high altitude balloons and drones to expand coverage in those nations) and putting Android on as many devices as possible. In addition to the wearables thing, Samsung – for example – has abandoned the enterprise push to focus on Android-powered smart appliances also. Again, this will be an area where they will not have to worry about competing with or being compared to Apple, because Apple does not make washing machines, refrigerators or DVD players.

    Similar to the Apple – Windows wars in the 1990s, Apple and Android are going after a different customer base using different strategies and – increasingly – different products. So while Apple gets the enterprise and affluent customer base, Android gets lower income people in developed countries and a huge market in developing countries where few people can afford a $500 iPhone and there are no carrier subsidies.

    Bottom line: Apple is winning a game that Android isn’t even playing. Great for them, but it doesn’t really affect Android a whole lot. Maybe the deal affects Microsoft (who has a number of ways to fight back mind you, plus they make money off the deal because Apple is one of their main customers for Azure anyway) and it is potentially devastating to Blackberry, and it also may harm some of IBM’s competitors like Red Hat and Oracle. But Android vendors like LG, HTC, Asus etc. are more preoccupied with selfie phones and smart watches than developing enterprise marketing apps to begin with. Even HP, who you would think would be focused on enterprise, makes extremely cheap Android tablets sold at Wal-Mart and budget electronics warehouses, not i-Pad competitors, and it is marketing its Android-powered PCs to casual video gamers, not stockbrokers and engineers. So again, I really think that you are overselling the harm to Google and its Android partners with this.

  5. BlackBerry, at this point, is collateral damage. How SAP and Oracle respond to frantic calls by both Microsoft and Google should prove interesting.

    Stay tuned.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.