The Apple-IBM Venture: Winners and Losers

Jan 14, 2015

Just before the close of 2014, Tim Cook, CEO of Apple and Ginni Rometty of IBM, announced a joint venture – that of integrating Apple mobile products with IBM software, and then bringing it to enterprise. IBM plans to develop apps, created especially for iPhones and iPads, and targeting enterprise users. Apple has lately made it more than clear that it would be entering the corporate sector in a big way. All of its recent introductions, including iOS 8 and the latest iPhones, point to that fact as well. This move will benefit IBM as well, as it will help establish the company as a serious contender in the industrial sector. The union, however, is likely to hit some other companies quite hard, potentially toppling their popularity so far.

So, who stands to benefit the most and who may well take a fall? In this post, we analyze the true impact of the Apple-IBM deal on the rest of the competition. 

Google Android

Nexus 5 phone
Maurizio Pesce/Flickr

This announcement comes at a time when Google’s Android devices, especially, Wear OS (formerly Android Wear), began rising in popularity and when it seemed that a market was slowly emerging for using wearables in enterprise. Of course, the fact is that not many users perceive Android as an actual “business entity”. Nevertheless, if Apple and IBM manage to achieve their intended level of success in industry, it is quite likely that Android may not be able to find a way into enterprise in the near future.

  • Apple vs. Google in Enterprise


Galaxy S5 phone
Kārlis Dambrāns/Flickr

Samsung may suffer a bigger hit than Google, especially because it features several Android devices as well. Apple has always been Samsung’s prime rival – both enjoy a high degree of popularity in the market and both companies produce different types of smartphones and tablets. Samsung has been trying to enter the corporate world with its Knox security and device management solutions. Now, it will face even more competition from Apple – it remains to be seen if the company would be able to offer stiff enough competition to the 2 giants.


Microsoft Surface
Jason Howie/Flickr

Microsoft is already a well-established player in the corporate world. Hence, this joint venture is not expected to impact it in a big way. However, its mobile arm may not be strong enough to bear the joint invasion of Apple and IBM. The Surface tablet has so far been Microsoft’s biggest hope for the business sector. The tablet has received good reviews from users and now, the company is promoting this line of products in enterprise. Once IBM starts pushing iPads into the workplace, it is very likely that Microsoft could fail with its plans for Surface. 

Start-Up Companies

startup company workers crowded around computer
Thomas Barwick/Stone/Getty Images

Smaller start-up companies will be the worst hit by the new Apple-IBM alliance. While the other bigger companies will still be able to survive and thrive, it will be the newer, lesser established tech establishments which will struggle to break even in the mobile market.  


Apple iOS8
Apple, Inc.

Apple will most probably emerge the winner in this joint venture. While it will be able to give a strong boost to its latest and even future line of iPhones and iPads, it will additionally benefit from the enterprise software especially created for its products, by IBM. Apple has always been reputed and respected for its high-quality hardware support. That, along with AppleCare for Enterprise, will help the giant raise its own bar in industry.


man on tablet in meeting
Hero Images/Getty Images

The enterprise sector may well be the biggest beneficiary in this latest Apple-IBM bonding. This, in turn, may give rise to the growth and evolution of BYOD and even WYOD, thereby giving a push to the mobile device management market as well. In any case, being given the option of using iPads featuring IBM software will most definitely tempt companies to go ahead and adopt mobility within their office environment. This will prove to be a great asset for the entire enterprise sector as a whole. 

  • Apple-IBM Partnership: Impact on Enterprise