Apple and IBM announce new partnership to move iOS further into the enterprise

Apple and IBM partnership

The past is in the past, and even companies that had once been fierce rivals can come together at a later date. Announced today, that’s exactly what’s happening between Apple and IBM, with a new partnership being built.

As reported initially by Re/code, the CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, and the CEO of IBM, Ginni Rometty, have officially unveiled a brand new partnership that will see the release of new wireless devices into the market, but also the use of applications with business-specfic aspirations to run on them. The broad partnership between Apple and IBM is seen as a way for both companies to make strides in key areas, where Apple is hoping to make further inroads into the Enterprise market.

Specifically, with IBM’s MobileFirst, which was launched last year to help build mobile software for the enterprise. For iOS, a new MobileFirst will see the light of day, dubbed MobileFirst for iOS. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, though, as the deal will mean that the pair of companies will build more than 100 industry-specific apps that will be tuned to iOS-based devices, like the iPhone and iPad. These applications are meant to address specific things, like security, managing devices, and analyzing corporate data.

We’re good at building a simple experience and in building devices,” Cook said. “The kind of deep industry expertise you would need to really transform the enterprise isn’t in our DNA. But it is in IBM’s.

On Apple’s end, at least initially, it will mean an introduction to a brand new class of service to the company’s AppleCare plan. It will also mean further support for enterprise-based customers. IBM is also going to start selling iPhones and iPads to its corporate customers, with a big push from more than 100,000 people in the effort. The report states that the enterprise data will run alongside the same public information, such as photos and documents, but will be located on private clouds, or on IBM’s cloud infrastructure.

Apple’s corporate presence isn’t small, especially with partners that include FedEx, Luxottica, American Airlines and others. While the company has never been known to make a big deal about enterprise in the past, the market has worked with the Cupertino-based company quite well, allowing many customers to use their own devices, like iPhones, to access key corporate information. Apple’s focus on the enterprise market was inexorable, many believe, but the partnership with IBM may come as a surprise to some.

Do you use your iPhone for any enterprise-related duties?

[via Apple; Re/code]