On Tuesday, Apple announced an agreement with IBM that signals the tech giant’s occupation of the enterprise market. Utilizing each company’s respective strengths, the plan is to build business apps and professional software that matches the quality and simplicity of Apple’s consumer applications. Apple will sell its devices (which will come preloaded with newly developed enterprise software) to IBM’s corporate customers, and also provide on-site support. IBM plans to make more than 100,000 employees available for the Apple initiative, which will develop more than 100 new apps for various industries.
After decades as competitors, Apple and IBM’s alliance is a major assault on traditional enterprise players. In the past, Apple has paid little attention to the corporate sector, allowing Microsoft to retain its stronghold on the market with its Windows operating system, and placidly allowing BlackBerry to… hang around.
Given our age of BYOD, iDevice’s undeniable popularity with consumers, and the recent missteps of traditional corporate players in the consumer device market (we’re looking at you Surface), the move may transform Apple into a major player in the business market.
UPDATE: July 16, 2014 – BlackBerry’s stock dipped by nearly 10% in midday trading Wednesday following the partnership announcement.