ENORMOUS Enterprise News -- Apple + IBM

#1 Edited by musicalmac (22694 posts) -

Apple and IBM Forge Global Partnership to Transform Enterprise Mobility

CUPERTINO, California and ARMONK, New York—July 15, 2014—Apple® and IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced an exclusive partnership that teams the market-leading strengths of each company to transform enterprise mobility through a new class of business apps—bringing IBM’s big data and analytics capabilities to iPhone® and iPad®.

The landmark partnership aims to redefine the way work will get done, address key industry mobility challenges and spark true mobile-led business change—grounded in four core capabilities:

  • a new class of more than 100 industry-specific enterprise solutions including native apps, developed exclusively from the ground up, for iPhone and iPad;
  • unique IBM cloud services optimized for iOS, including device management, security, analytics and mobile integration;
  • new AppleCare® service and support offering tailored to the needs of the enterprise; and
  • new packaged offerings from IBM for device activation, supply and management.
Credit Apple

This is a 'holy cow' situation. Tim Cook elaborates on the deal --

“iPhone and iPad are the best mobile devices in the world and have transformed the way people work with over 98 percent of the Fortune 500 and over 92 percent of the Global 500 using iOS devices in their business today,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “For the first time ever we’re putting IBM’s renowned big data analytics at iOS users’ fingertips, which opens up a large market opportunity for Apple. This is a radical step for enterprise and something that only Apple and IBM can deliver.”

Credit Apple

This serves as two things, 1. Confirmation that android was never a true contender in enterprise, and 2. Apple has captured the hearts and minds of both capable consumers and enterprise, largely removing Microsoft from both major markets in the post-PC era. This announcement even comes on the heels of the largest layoffs ever to take place within Microsoft.

It becomes more true every day -- Choose to work with Apple or you'll rue the day you decided not to.

#2 Edited by NVIDIATI (7528 posts) -

This is great news for both IBM and Apple. Depending on the applications that come out of this, they might be able to secure a nice chunk of the enterprise market, particularly in mobile phones.

When it comes to iPad's and enterprise software, I still don't see the advantage over an x86-64 tablet running Windows/Linux/Unix (etc.) that's compatible with just about anything. We're well past the point that a functional PC can't be in a portable and/or efficient tablet form factor. Then again, I'm also assuming that the company uses IBM in the first place.

As for Android, excluding Samsung, none of the other manufacturers seem to have the scale to the able to penetrate into the enterprise market. That's not to say Android doesn't have a place in the enterprise world:

ex. Boeing's Black phone is running Android. Not to be confused with the consumer available Blackphone.

#3 Edited by musicalmac (22694 posts) -

Looks like Boeing is in the minority.

Tim Cook did say 98 percent of the Fortune 500 and over 92 percent of the Global 500 are using iOS devices in their business today. Reinforcing that is going to greatly strengthen Apple's position. This is especially true because Apple is a consumer electronics company that sells hardware for profit, not ads. And because they're a hardware company selling devices primarily to the consumer public, they're doing the logical next step -- which is to secure that market by strengthening corporate willingness to accept BYOD culture.

Boeing is an exception, clearly. Cool idea for a phone, though, must be like a badge of honor to own that.

#4 Posted by Mister-Man (21 posts) -

@NVIDIATI: "Might be able to secure a nice chunk of the enterprise market?" Aren't they already dominating it? 92% and 98% of the Fortune 500 and Global 500 sounds like a little more than a nice chunk, it sounds like the lions share, if not the entire share itself.

I'm not really surprised. Every tablet I've seen being used in stores and businesses and cash registers were iPads. Still have yet to see an Android tablet being used for business purposes.

I recall may people saying you can't do "real work" with an iPad or iOS for that matter. I'm wondering if those same people would be willing to eat their words today.

#5 Posted by NVIDIATI (7528 posts) -


Those number's don't tell the full story of how the devices are being used, or the quantity of devices being used. There is also the fact that those are for iOS, and do not include the current usage numbers for IBM services.

Android tablet's do not have a high level of software support that would appeal to enterprise, simple as that.

A tablet like the ThinkPad 10 offers a worlds more than an iPad, the ability to use it as a full fledged computer is a massive advantage as well. So compared to that, I wouldn't say the iPad can do "real work". The stigma around modern 2-in-1s is something that should to go away. They've proven their ability to offer performance, mobility and productivity.

On a side note: Unfortunately for Lenovo, Intel's Core M (14nm Broadwell-Y) will be releasing in 2-in-1 devices in H2 of this year with prices starting at $600. So there will be even better options within the coming months.

#6 Edited by musicalmac (22694 posts) -

@mister-man: Heh, got your answer, and the answer is "Nope."

#7 Edited by Mister-Man (21 posts) -

@NVIDIATI: So you're saying an iPad can't do "real work?" Define "real work" and address how an iPad can't do it. This should be very interesting.

#8 Posted by NVIDIATI (7528 posts) -

@mister-man When you initially said "real work", it came across as undefined, this is why I said "compared to".

The iPad doesn't offer the full capabilities of a PC, something the ThinkPad 10 does. By that comparison I stand by my statement.

#9 Edited by Mister-Man (21 posts) -

@NVIDIATI: By real work, I mean the ability to produce and edit documents, spreadsheets, slideshows, access and manipulate servers, access and manipulate home computers, produce and edit videos, music, navigate airplanes, used in replacement of cash registers, etc. I mean there's a reason why iOS is dominating mobile enterprise right now.

The app market in iOS has a much more robust business and productivity app section out of all the ecosystems available right now, even. I don't think there's even any denying it at this point. It's always had more productivity options compared to the entire mobile market ever since its first inception.

What does the ThinkPad 10 do that an iPad can't? And if it's much more capable, why isn't the ThinkPad 10 used on massive scale the way businesses employ iPads?

#10 Edited by musicalmac (22694 posts) -

@NVIDIATI: @mister-man: I think the issue we're struggling with is that iOS mobile devices have reached a point in their evolution that they are not the niche, they are the norm. iOS devices are capable of serving most users, with only some users requiring additional capabilities. Those users may find more success with a Windows 2-in-1 device, but it's more likely that those users require even more oomph under the hood or would benefit from a larger display.

Many years ago, people laughed at Apple for having 5% of the personal computer market. Now, with iPads combined, they sell more 'computers' than any other company on the planet. Yet now again it's the 5% we're talking about, only this time it's in the post-PC era, and that small percentage that was insignificant before (Apple) is now somehow relevant (Windows). It's a brazen double standard. It's evidence of a clear lack of objectivity and reasonable positions from which to express an opinion. Or perhaps it's an unwillingness to accept the gradual decline of a company that previously held a stranglehold on the majority of personal computers.

That same company has now cut 18k jobs, the largest in company history by a significant margin.

Microsoft lost a decade of progress. Apple is the norm in the modern PC era. Microsoft is the niche.

#11 Posted by NVIDIATI (7528 posts) -


Are you asking what an x86-64 PC can do that an ARM64 based iPad cannot? I really shouldn't have to explain this to you, the ThinkPad 10 uses an x86-64 processor, it comes pre-loaded with 64-bit Windows 8.1. You could also boot up Linux if required. This is not Windows RT device like the Microsoft Surface RT, and Surface 2.

The ThinkPad 10 was just released. However, I don't see this particular device being much of a success due to the low cost / high performance Intel Core M launching in tablets before the end of this year. The architecture of the SoC used inside of the ThinkPad 10 was launched in Q3 2013.


That extra "oomph" is exactly what Intel Core M is planning to deliver in 10" (1.2 lbs / 6.8 mm thick) and 12" (1.4 lbs / 7.2 mm thick) tablet and 2-in-1 devices. The tablet market has been growing to reach an equilibrium with the x86-64 PC market, it's not replacing it. Calling Microsoft a niche is just silly. Apple only has ~30% of the tablet market and Mac sales had recently been shown to decline while other PC manufacturers had gains.

#12 Edited by Mister-Man (21 posts) -

@NVIDIATI: Yes. I'm still asking. You don't need a full OS to run businesses these days and get real work done. We're not living in the 90's or the 2000's anymore. The fact that I can produce and edit word documents, powerpoint presentations and excel spreadsheets from a 3 year old iPhone underlines this fact, more less on a tablet with much more screen space.

I'm still waiting for a proper response.

#13 Edited by NVIDIATI (7528 posts) -


I've yet to see a company replace their full OS (Windows, OS X, Linux, etc.) laptops and desktops with iOS devices. iOS doesn't even offer compatibility with all the different enterprise software and services from major companies like Oracle, SAP, Microsoft, Symantec, etc. Windows and/or Linux do offer these things, both can run on x86-64 devices like the ThinkPad 10. Companies can tailor the devices and their operating systems to remain compatible with all of their hardware and infrastructure. That same hardware and infrastructure that was built around (and in many cases runs on) the x86 architecture. Work goes beyond word/excel/powerpoint/etc., you can't even develop with Xcode for iOS on an iOS device. Meanwhile, you can run Xcode through VMWare on a non-OS X x86-64 device. The ecosystem on Windows/Linux provides complete versions of software. Take for example Autodesk Inventor (3D CAD), Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 (video editing), or Adobe Lightroom (photo editing). None of those have a complete counterpart on the iPad, at best a watered down version. I'm not going to continue trying to explain this to you, if you still don't understand then I suggest you do the research yourself.

#14 Posted by musicalmac (22694 posts) -

@NVIDIATI: According to an article published yesterday by Chitika, Apple's iPad still enjoys the lion's share of usage. Apple execs have asked the question before, and it's worth asking -- what are people doing with their android powered tablets? If Apple only has ~30% of the tablet market, what are all those other tablets doing? Nothing?

It's also worth mentioning, as Apple pointed out in the Q3 earnings report, that the company moved 4.4 million Macs (which is a 18% increase from this time last year, the opposite of what you had said).

I also question your statement on the Core M. Is it as powerful as workstation computers like the Mac Pro or similarly spec'd PC options?

Could you also please explain why calling Microsoft niche in regards to the post-PC era is a silly thing to do? They seem to be struggling mightily in this arena, and their new CEO puts out some truly Office Space style rhetoric about their plans for the future as he cuts 18k jobs in the company. iPads are more than capable of doing most things for most people, as @mister-man has pointed out. It's only a few specialized things that would require the use of something more traditional.

Think about it this way -- Apple sold about 3 times more iPads (and about 8 times more iPhone) than they did Macs, which one could theorize makes Macs a more niche product. Anecdotally, my mom and my wife's mom haven't used a computer in years because they've both decided all they need is their iPad. Even Tim Cook says about 80% of what he does on any day is done on his iPad.

The times are changing. I think the people who struggle with the realities of our tech culture today are either cantankerous gamers or IT folks in denial.

#15 Edited by NVIDIATI (7528 posts) -

I haven't the slightest clue what people are using them for.

Regarding the Mac sales, I mixed up sales with market share, that was my mistake. While on the topic of sales, iPad sales have been down around 4 million for Apple's last two quarters (year over year).

Why would it be as powerful as a desktop workstation? That was never implied. Intel Core M despite being Y series will offer Haswell U series levels of performance (possibly higher depending on the clock speeds) in a 10" tablet form factor. The move to a new GPU architecture and drivers will also mix things up a bit.

Windows computers still sell massive amounts each year and the ecosystem is growing. That's not something I would call niche. (We've done a great job keeping this place free of anecdotal evidence, let's try to keep it that way).

Yes, I never disagreed, iPads (even some Android tablets) are capable of doing basics such as web browsing, using MS Office style applications, certain 'remote control style' work. There is a reason Chromebooks have been growing. In the same case as Chromebooks or iPads, for the same price you could now get a Windows device that can do "that" much more. The ASUS T100 is a perfect example of what a budget 2-in-1 should be. It's a small lightweight tablet with a microHDMI/microUSB/microSD and a keyboard dock with a full sized USB 3.0 (and optional internal HDD). It comes preloaded with Microsoft Office 2013 Home & Student and has a price tag between a Chromebook and an iPad.

#16 Edited by musicalmac (22694 posts) -

@NVIDIATI: You're right that iPad sales have been down year over year, but it's really nothing to be too concerned about. I'm still rolling with a first generation iPad, and will likely upgrade when the iPad gets TouchID and an A8 SoC. It's going to be seriously impressive.

My statement regarding the Core M comes from the belief that mobile devices like the iPad (specifically the iPad) have evolved to a point at which the need for more power -- for most users -- isn't necessary. Because Apple's ecosystem is so well defined and optimized, it's really not about who can make the most powerful chips anymore. That's a dinosaur's perspective on astrophysics. It's that far out of date. It's the minority that require more than what an iPad can offer. That's not anecdotal, even if my examples were. There's even more proof of my beliefs in more articles than I could ever link, so please make sure to think critically before attempting to pull out an innocuous statement like my example of a well-known, far greater reality.

I also call into question your belief about the PC market and ecosystem. Yes, we still sell plenty of PCs and that will continue, but it's getting pretty grim pretty fast, according to numerous articles. Here's one for the win --

There’s no end in sight to the PC market bloodbath

Windows 8 hurts PC sales, why would someone want a tablet or 2-in-1 device that traps you in that poorly constructed operating system? Seems less and less people as time goes on. MS has a real problem on its hands, and the axed 18,000 employees are feeling it. This is an issue you seem to have decided not to comment on. Why is that?

Office isn't necessary anymore, either. It's not longer a selling point, and Microsoft made sure of that when they held off the iOS version for as long as they did. There's a reason Apple is much, much larger than MS now, and there's a reason Apple is poised to not 'bring-your-own-device' informally dominate enterprise, but to officially dominate enterprise with their partnership with IBM.

What's really interesting is that Beats is Apple's largest acquisition to date, but down the road, I wouldn't be to shocked to see the largest acquisition Apple takes on be IBM itself... Stranger things have happened. No wise man would scoff at such an idea anymore.

#17 Posted by HaziqAgha (61 posts) -

Wow, I had no idea this forum had mobile news as well now. I remember before the design we had that mobile wars board, but it's neat to see it's somewhat back.

In terms of this news it's huge for Apple and IBM. This deal, along with Google's Chromebooks, are both big scares for Microsoft. Let's see what Satya Nadella can do with Microsoft going forward, but the next couple of years will be super interesting.

#18 Posted by NVIDIATI (7528 posts) -


Core M offers devices the ability to reach into an ecosystem that until recently has been exclusive to laptops and desktops. This is something the iPad doesn't offer due to the limitations of iOS and the ARM based hardware. The increased performance allows for greater capabilities. Don't turn a blind eye to the higher levels of optimization offered by Windows 8.1 on lower performance hardware.

Let's not pretend the professional world is going to abandon PC due to a decline in sales. For that matter, iOS can't even match the capabilities of OS X on x86 hardware, how is it expected to replace Windows/Linux on x86?

Microsoft is still producing improved versions of Windows (8.1, 8.1-u1, 8.1-u2, 9), and that doesn't seem to be changing. I don't care if they're axing employees. Microsoft took in around 28,000 employees this past April from Nokia, 12,500 are of their 18,000 cut are from the Nokia unit. Another handful from the 5,500 non-Nokia employees will come from the closing of their Xbox Entertainment Studios and other sectors.

#19 Posted by musicalmac (22694 posts) -

@NVIDIATI: I'm struggling to reply to this because you replied to very little of what I actually said, and many of those replies take leaps I hadn't eluded to. I mean, I even said PC sales are going to continue.

So what exactly are you replying to? Your talking points are also odd given the title and focus of this thread, laid out in the OP. Apple sealed the deal with IBM related to mobile devices (post-PC) in the workplace, not Microsoft.

So what are we talking about here? Did anyone actually say that this agreement would see 100% replacement of traditional PCs with mobile devices? I've been very careful to keep it in the post-PC space.

So far, you've made the argument that an iPad isn't as good as a traditional computer at CAD, professional video and photo editing, and app development. Do you know what percentage of people that affects? I'll give you a hint -- it's the minority.

Even that minority would see the benefit of something like an iPad at shoots (I know that's what I use) to check color, exposure, lighting, and clarity during a shoot. Then, when they (we, I) get home, they'd probably appreciate something more along the lines of a larger monitor (such as my 27" iMac or a 4k Sharp display) being powered by a multi-core i7 or greater processor (along with a dedicated GPU) to help the workflow along as fast as possible. Many of these 2-in-1 options are too little of one thing or too little of the other.

But if you could make sure to address all parts of this post, especially ones related to the OP, and keep it as on-target as possible, we'd all have a much more meaningful conversation. Apple and IBM have partnered up (wisely for IBM) to help power post-PC devices in the enterprise space -- a conversation completely un-related to 2-in-1 Windows-powered devices, though we've been kind enough to humor your laser-focus.