Can Apple Inc. (AAPL) and International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) Deliver?

apple inc.Tara Clarke:  The latest Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock news sent AAPL shares up 1.73% this morning (Wednesday).

On Tuesday afternoon, Apple announced a “landmark partnership” with International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM). Together, the two companies aim to gain foothold in segments of the corporate world like healthcare, retail, and transportation. And they intend to use mobile to do it.

This is a deviation from Apple’s traditional focus on solely the individual consumer. In the past, businesses have typically experienced difficulty integrating Apple products – a cause of frustration to IT staff.

“If IBM can come in and say, ‘We’ll make sure this Apple stuff works well with the other stuff you’ve got already,’ it will make the IT guy feel a lot better,” Endpoint Technologies analyst Roger Kay said to ITWorld.

Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook stated yesterday that the IBM partnership “opens a large market opportunity for Apple.”

“This is a radical step for enterprise and something that only Apple and IBM can deliver,” Cook said.

IBM CEO Virginia Rometty said the end goal of the collaboration is to “reimagine how work is done” and “unlock value, remake professions, and transform companies.”

Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald called the collaboration “a marriage of convenience for IBM, and of passion for Apple.”

“Microsoft had better watch out,” Fitz-Gerald said.

Today’s Apple Stock News: An IBM-AAPL Blitzkrieg on Corporate IT Market

The two companies will attempt to gain corporate IT market share by using mobile business.

First, here’s what IBM will do to accomplish the goal:

  • IBM will develop apps for iOS (an operating system used for mobile devices manufactured by Apple).
  • Then IBM will sell iOS devices to its corporate clientele, preloaded with Apple-IBM designed software.
  • The company will also make its cloud services applicable for iOS. This includes the capability for iOS device activation, supply, and management to customers, and the ability to lease rather than buy Apple hardware, according to PCWorld.

Fitz-Gerald pointed out an interesting take on IBM’s real role here…

“What the public doesn’t realize is that IBM is nothing more than a conduit here. Apple has everything to gain and could become a major player in the business computing market,” Fitz-Gerald said.

Second, here’s what Apple will do:

  • Apple will lend its true genius – its “elegant user experience” – on the iPhone and iPad to the corporate world.
  • Apple will provide warranty services (“AppleCare”) for business customers. This will be a 24-hour service that includes on-site support.

Both companies promise “a new category of mobile apps” that will specifically address industry needs in “retail, healthcare, banking, travel, telecommunications, and insurance.”

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