Apple and IBM meet goal of making 100 enterprise apps

IBM and Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) said they've published more than 100 iOS apps for business users, meeting a goal they set last year when they announced their joint effort to target enterprise mobility.

The iPhone and iPad apps were developed for 65 specific professions across 14 industries, "from wealth advisors to flight attendants, first responders, nurses and retail buyers," according to IBM's announcement. The companies plan to expand their efforts into markets such as consumer products, automotive, aging and chemicals and petroleum.

Apple and IBM first joined forces in July 2014 in an effort to reach a mobile enterprise market that remains relatively untapped in the wake of BlackBerry's (NASDAQ:BBRY) troubles. In addition to working with Apple to develop applications for the enterprise, IBM is selling iPhones and iPads to its business customers. The companies hope to leverage Apple's user-friendly devices and mobile expertise and IBM's vast experience with IT departments and systems.

The alliance reflects both Apple's desire to grow its enterprise business and IBM's push into the mobile market. Apple's iOS claimed 66 percent of all enterprise device activations during the third quarter of 2015, according to recent statistics from Good Powered by BlackBerry (formerly Good Technologies), up 2 percent from the prior quarter. Android devices accounted for 31 percent of all enterprise activations.

"Our apps -- which currently represent an exclusive level of business value -- are evolving to deliver cognitive capability that refines insights to the most relevant information, enhancing the quality of decision making," said Fred Balboni, IBM's general manager of Apple partnership, in prepared remarks. "Marrying the simplicity of Apple's product design with IBM's unmatched security, analytic and cognitive expertise is the leading edge of mobile-led business transformation."

IBM said it plans to integrate some future iOS apps with the artificial intelligence of Watson, which the company said will help the apps learn about the needs of employees and customers over time. The companies also hope to capitalize on the improved power, performance and larger screen size of the iPad Pro, taking advantage of its multitasking features to allow employees to work side-by-side in two apps simultaneously.

For more:
- see this IBM press release

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