Former arch-rivals Apple and IBM have gone in different directions since they were fiercely competing for customers in the 1980s and they're now planning to share their strengths. The two tech giants have announced a partnership to work together on more than 100 business apps designed for Apple's iPhones and iPads, the New York Times reports. Analysts say the partnership looks like a winner, as it will help Apple sell its devices to the still largely untapped corporate world, and will give IBM a big boost after years of declining revenue from the business software it has focused on since 2005.
"In '84, we were competitors. In 2014, I don't think you can find two more complementary companies," Apple CEO Tim Cook—who worked at IBM for more than a decade—tells the Wall Street Journal in a joint interview with IBM chief Virginia Rometty. "This is just the beginning," adds Rometty, noting that most corporate smartphones are currently used just for email and calendar applications. The deal is a "brilliant" way for Apple to get its devices used throughout the corporate world, a Forrester Research analyst tells Computer World. "This is a very big deal for Apple, which just outsourced a high quality sales, support, and service organization in the likes of IBM," he says. "What's brilliant about this is that it lets Apple preserve its focus, but partners on a large scale with someone who can totally represent them in the enterprise." (Read more Virginia Rometty stories.)