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Apple and IBM to sell business-optimized iPad and iPhone devices

Although Apple’s iPad media tablet and iPhone smartphone are rapidly gaining popularity among business users, these mobile gadgets are still not true business-optimized solutions. On Tuesday Apple and IBM announced that they will jointly develop IBM MobileFirst platform for iOS that will bring IBM’s apps, big data and analytics capabilities to iPhone and iPad. IBM will also resell specially-optimized tablets and smartphones with its software pre-installed.

IBM MobileFirst for iOS platform will rely on Apple iOS 8 operating system and will offer specially designed applications, services from Apple and IBM tailored for business and enterprise users, security and management options specifically designed for enterprise mobile solutions.

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“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.”

At present Apple and IBM do not disclose a lot of peculiarities regarding the IBM MobileFirst for iOS, but claim that the platform will target specific industry issues or opportunities in retail, healthcare, banking, travel and transportation, telecommunications and insurance, among others. Potentially, this means that the two companies plan to develop special applications for various industries.

The IBM MobileFirst Platform for iOS will bring the services required for an end-to-end enterprise capability, from analytics, workflow and cloud storage, to fleet-scale device management, security and integration. Improved mobile management includes a special private app catalog, data and transaction security services, and productivity suite for all IBM MobileFirst for iOS solutions.

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As part of the exclusive IBM MobileFirst for iOS deal, IBM will also sell iPhones and iPads with the industry-specific solutions to its business customers worldwide.

IBM MobileFirst for IOS will become available starting this fall and into 2015.

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KitGuru Says: This is not the first time when Apple attempts to make its iPad and iPhones more suitable for enterprise and business users. Together with IBM, the company actually gets huge chances to sell its hardware to companies requiring advanced enterprise-class security and appropriate applications since IBM specializes on such technologies.

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