IBM and Apple teaming up in mobile push: Tech analysts are impressed

by Patrick Pierra

July 16 2014

Early comments on Apple’s and IBM’s joint announcement are very positive.

(Read the news first.)

Why the deal makes perfect sense:

"Apple is not an enterprise company, that's not their DNA. It is IBM's DNA and IBM has had those relationships forever. It's an unlikely combination but a very strong one if they can pull it off."
- Van Baker, analyst at Gartner, quoted in The Wall Street Journal

“This partnership is complementary for the two companies, both in terms of their respective strengths and weaknesses.”
- Frank Gens, chief analyst for IDC, quoted in the The New York Times

“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.”
- Roger Kay, analyst af Endpoint Technologies, quoted in PCworld

“Apple has been dragged into the enterprise by individuals that want the same mobile convenience on the job that they use in their personal lives, but has resisted servicing enterprises for fear of losing its famed focus on top quality user experience. Given IBM’s market strength and coverage, this partnership gives Apple enterprise capabilities and credibility at one stroke – and gives IBM a premium advantage in the race for mobile enterprise leadership.”
- Frank Gillett, analyst at Forrester Research, quoted by The Financial Times

“This is a shot in the arm for IBM and a great validation of Apple in the enterprise space, where they already are a huge success.”
- Aaron Levie, chief executive officer of Box, interviewed by Bloomberg

“This deal is driven by IBM Software, who want to get as many clients as possible. IBM doesn’t make tablets, smartphones, or PCs, so it’s logical to partner with Apple for the iPad and iPhone since they are becoming such an important part of the enterprise app landscape. This is just good business on IBM’s part. And on Apple’s as well, because it gets them more engrained in the enterprise app space that they couldn’t do on their own.”
- Jack Gold, principal with J. Gold Associates, quoted in Network World

Why the team-up doesn’t guarantee success, though:

“Having official IBM support for those 100 [apps] will be attractive to some core IBM constituencies, but it’s hard to say how many will jump to replace what they have now,”
- Charles King of Pund-IT, quoted in PCworld

“Apple now has a focused enterprise partner. (But,) given IBM’s limited reach, Apple needs to make sure it doesn’t have all its eggs on one basket. It will still need to address channels that Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Lenovo own.”
- Pat Moorhead, head of the research firm Moor Insights and Strategy, quoted in Re/Code

What this means for Apple’s and IBM’s competitors:

“It makes it much harder to get serious consideration for Android in corporations.”
- Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies, quoted in the The New York Times

“The users that Apple and IBM will be going after with this deal are exactly in the crosshairs that Microsoft has been going after in the last few years with Windows Phone. It’s one more thing for them to contend with and one more headache.”
- Charles King of Pund-IT, quoted in PCworld

“Look for Google and leading enterprise suppliers to seek partnerships that offer a credible alternative.”
- Frank Gillett, analyst at Forrester Research, quoted by The Financial Times

“For BlackBerry, this might be the last straw,”
- Carolina Milanesi, analyst with Kantor Worldpanel, quoted in PCworld

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