In July 2014, Apple announced a partnership with IBM to tap into its deep experience in the enterprise market in order "to transform enterprise mobility through a new class of business apps—bringing IBM’s big data and analytics capabilities to iPhone® and iPad®."
Apple is now staffing up to sell more iPads and iPhones to businesses, according to a report by Entrepreneur. This new focus on enterprise sales comes on the heels of the release of Apple and IBM's first 10 joint business apps in December. According to the report, Apple CEO, Tim Cook, said another 12 apps are on their way by the end of this quarter and that Apple hopes to have 100 enterprise apps by the end of 2015. Entrepreneur also reports that the two companies are working on customizable iOS apps for specific industries and there are rumors that a larger "iPad Pro" is in development to cater to business customers.
This partnership could lead the next evolution of mobile enterprise innovation and the ability for business owners and their employees to have access to the tools and data they need…when they need it and how they need it. According to Tim Cook, “iPhone and iPad...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. 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.”
Coming off its highest-ever revenue and earnings, Apple may not need to sell iPads to businesses today, however its new focus on this vertical may prove a healthy investment for future earnings and a harbinger for other companies to start evolving their enterprise offerings to reflect what consumers are asking for – productivity, convenience and mobility.