Why Apple’s deal with IBM is the biggest tech news of 2014

“As happy as Steve Jobs would have been at Tim Cook’s success growing and managing his company, you have to wonder if he would have cringed when Cook called IBM a kindred spirit,” David Eller writes for The Motley Fool. “Its more likely that Cook found a kindred spirit in IBM’s openness to partner up rather than the culture and values of the organization. That said, this is clearly value creating for Apple shareholders.”

“Apple is the king of the consumer and IBM has a trusted footprint in virtually every multinational enterprise in one form or another. Despite their respective huge presences, there is virtually no overlap between them,” Eller writes. “It’s really a natural fit if the two cultures don’t create friction and it seems like they will be more independent than codependent.”

“This announcement could be one of the biggest stories in tech investing this year,” Eller writes. “Apple shareholders should celebrate this shift since the partnership is about to increase Apple’s distribution dramatically as IBM contributes the part time efforts of its 100,000 consultants and developers.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. Both Apple and IBM have changed. This is not the IBM that made PCs running MS-DOS and Windows. Likewise, Apple has come a long way from making Apple // and Mac 512s. I think Steve is smiling right now. If Apple is his greatest creating, we will be pleased with anything that helps it grow and flourish.

    1. Well put, also, Apple designs products for end users first and foremost. The Corporate/Enterprise market doesn’t work like that… IT Managers ultimately make the decisions.

      The possibility of iOS/Mac OS being successfully implemented in Corporate IT is ridiculously small (for this very reason), and yet they are starting to have some success, so it’s incredible.

        1. I completely agree! A few years back I worked in startup where the CEO INSISTED we do an Android app first (a b2b client).. bear in mind hindsight is 20/20, but it turned out to be a disastrous move: almost no one was using Android, and many were still on blackberry, thinking about moving to iPhone… :'(

  2. > It’s really a natural fit if the two cultures don’t create friction and it seems like they will be more independent than codependent.

    This statement is very true, for this partnership. Apple does not really have to do anything new. Just keep making the best mobile devices, with a flexible, secure, and stable OS (and development environment). IBM adds value for enterprise customers, and even sells the devices (with IBM’s software) “for Apple” as part of promoting its own products and services. Obviously, there will be interaction (cooperation to optimize efficiency), but it won’t cause “friction.”

    The other key point is the “agenda” of each entity. Apple wants to sell more devices. IBM wants to sell its software and services. The two goals are aligned, with no points of conflict (“friction”).

    1. One thing that I think IBM will get out of this is in the “inner circle” of developers and ultimately have some input on the future of the development platform for iOS, and request Apple add or modify some of the enterprise facing features, and I expect that Apple will willingly allow IBM to have a good deal of influence on the enterprise portions of iOS coming out of this.

    1. Elaborate. Please, I am profoundly intrigued by your train of thought because as far as I understand, Apple sells nothing IBM does and IBM sells nothing that Apple makes. Not to mentioned that they have worked together before. Where to you think the PowerPC chip came from?

  3. If Apple wants to offer cloud services, but not provide all their own hardware who will they trust: Amazon, Microsoft, Google? All competitors.

    IBM has been buying up cloud companies and won’t do a ‘Samsung’ on them.

  4. Hell yeah! I was slack-jawed when I read this. This is the biggest news out of Apple since, well, iOS 8 and Yosemite.

    Tim Cook kicking ass and taking names!

  5. The key to this deal succeeding is IBM’s ability to harness the power of big data in easy-to-use apps.  I’m sure Apple will provide feedback along the way to ensure that simplicity is designed-in.

    For Apple, the other key aspect of the deal is exclusivity.  If IBM can do its part, CEOs who want to deploy big data throughout their organizations will be ordering iPhones and iPads for their employees.  It is also reasonable to expect a certain share of those employees to use their own iDevices at home.

  6. The short sighted stupidity of investors to this news is like a parody of Apple’s Lemmings commercial. Next up a dumping of AAPL stock when they announce another record quarter on July 22, because they didn’t sell 15 times more iPads than all the other tablet makers combined or they didn’t’t stuff their channel enough or because they delayed another unannounced product.

  7. This announcement has the potential for a major shakeup, if these two companies find this partnership successful Microsoft will find themselves in a very tight place. Will they be at a disadvantage by offering their enterprise clients windows surface? Will that fact alone push enterprise clients ? If so Microsoft will have no other choice but to provide services for IOS. In other words abandoned their portable devices and support Apples. If one steps back and looks at the big picture it’s not too hard to make this leap. Microsoft will go back to its roots and supply software solutions for Apple. The universe will be back on track.

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