Apple + IBM: Connecting the dots

“Apple has just partnered with IBM to deliver a set of mobile solutions for the enterprise that will encompass: Specific big data mobile applications; a new iOS tailored cloud service; new enterprise level AppleCare support services from Apple, and new package from IBM for mobile device management,” J. M. Manness writes for Seeking Alpha. “Apple CEO Tim Cook remarked in a CNBC interview: ‘I think it is absolutely huge. It’s landmark.'”

“By exclusively partnering with Apple, IBM will be providing the most complete, comprehensive, and secure solution to integrate with iOS,” Manness writes. “Equally important, the 100+ solutions on which the two are collaborating will likely be very creative products that will put them far ahead of any other company. This is a lot of apps, and none of them trivial I am sure. This is going to touch a lot of different industries in a very impressive way. You can look forward to Cook introducing some of these to great fanfare at the iPhone and/or iPad announcements. Certainly one or two will be featured at the presentation, and they will be very slick.”

“In my years of blogging, and before that commenting on posts, one of the gripes from business IT folks that I came across most often, and seemed to me to be most legitimate, was that of the lack of real business level support from Apple. Here Apple will make out big. While they will provide elevated support online, they will immediately have thousands of technicians available to do on-site service. And these are service people who already know their customers. This is something that could not be duplicated without investing years to build it up,” Manness writes. “One has to wonder if the relationship will grow to include Mac support by IBM service personnel. Even if it does not, the influx of iDevices will only continue the growth of Macs in the workplace. Think of the new Continuity features of the upcoming Yosemite release of Mac OSX. These will make using a Mac even more compelling.”

Read more in the full article here.

In a companion article, Manness covers “hidden implications” of the deal, writing, ‘IBM owns an IC fab in Essex Junction, Vermont. There is speculation that it will be sold, possibly to GlobalFoundries. Meanwhile, NetworkWorld reports: ‘IBM will pour US$3 billion into computing and chip materials research over the next five years, as it rethinks computer design and looks to a future that may not involve silicon chips.'”

“Part of that research is to reach the 7 nm process level, and beyond,” Manness writes. “Apple has two interests in this. First, they have continued to surprise the integrated chip world with their bold designs of their A-series processors. They are always trying to squeeze the best processing power out of a given design system. They would love to get their hands on cutting-edge chip processes technology.”

“Now add that Apple would also like to shift its processor fabrication away from Samsung, due to other conflicts,” Manness writes. “With all this, one has to wonder if Apple is working with IBM in this field as well.”

Read more in the full article here.

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

Related articles:
Apple’s deal with IBM is a strategic strike in a larger war – July 17, 2014
What Apple gets from its new iOS partnership with IBM – July 17, 2014
The one huge thing missing in Apple’s big enterprise deal with IBM or something – July 17, 2014
Apple+IBM: Winners and losers – July 16, 2014
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. Hopefully the apps won’t take too long to appear. These types of deals are often big on rhetoric and low on action. It would be interesting to hear from people who use IBM’s services how the apps would help them. SAP is a good example of how apps can be used to manage or access large database systems. Hopefully IBM will be able to do the same.
    As for chips. Getting down to lower processing levels is good but may be 3-5 years down the road. Apple’s expertise in chip design is in part due to having worked with ARM from the start and acquiring chip design companies several years ago. That type of investment doesn’t yield results immediately but can be a huge advantage for years to come. Smart planning on Apple’s part.

  2. Per the comment about “…if the relationship will grow to include Mac support by IBM service personnel,” internally, IBM has just officially added Mac support for employees, lacking until now.

  3. Umm, we’ll see. I expect these 100+ apps are going to be enterprise administrator apps to control/manage corporate assets.

    For example, one app to identify corporate standard apps to be remotely installed/removed from specific corporate computers/iPads/iPhones. Perhaps another to manage user accounts. Or, another to order travel reservations through their travel office. Or, another to order office supplies. Or, another to manage/monitor corporate network traffic, or server performance, or whatever.

    The point is, useful for the businesses signing up for the service, but of little interest to consumers. The benefit to IBM is standardizing on solid mobile technology that will run their corporate management apps, and providing a platform they can sell/lease to customers. The benefit to Apple is improving their enterprise bonafides, and selling profitable hardware.

    The test will be whether IBM actually pushes this new technology solution to its customers, or simply adds it to its extensive catalog of corporate technology services being offered, including those supported by Apple’s competitors.

    The improved enterprise cachet is important, but will probably be of little financial benefit to Apple, even including potential halo effects for other Apple products.

    I expect this is why there have been mixed thoughts about this deal from the investor community. It will be years before we see who’s right.

    1. I see no reason make these assumptions other than they support a normalcy bias, which is a comfort to those who fear change. IBM deals in Linux applications. Apple’s operating systems are 64 bit and Linux/Unix friendly. One natural outcome might be a replacement for Numbers based on Open Office. If so, Microsoft is in a world of hurt.

      1. We can be hopeful that something truly great will come out of this collaboration. But, I remember well the IBM/Apple collaborations in the 90s that went nowhere.

    2. I think there will be a lot of that, but there are more mundane elements that could be part of IBMs suite, like timekeeping, crucial in some industries. Everybody who used to have a phone on their desk has an iPhone with connectivity to the corporate network (no more PBXs) at a minimum. Those who wouldn’t will have access to a kiosk with an iPad at its core. There will be apps for a lot of stuff that used to require logging on at a terminal. Jobs working their way through factories tracked by iBeacon. The list just goes on. This is a big deal.

  4. “Now add that Apple would also like to shift its processor fabrication away from Samsung, due to other conflicts. With all this, one has to wonder if Apple is working with IBM in this field as well.”

    The irony would come full circle. I still remember reading the rumors about the Marklar Project the day before the switch to Intel was announced.

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