Apple buries the hatchet with IBM, teams up to target corporate market

Apple introduced the Macintosh computer in 1984 with a Super Bowl ad that portrayed its rival International Business Machines as “Big Brother.” In the ad, a talking head on a giant computer screen spouts platitudes about “information purification” to an audience of corporate zombies — until a woman dressed like a Hooters waitress destroys it with a sledgehammer.

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The tagline: “On January 24th, Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh. And you’ll see why 1984 won’t be like ’1984.’”

But now, IBM will be a partner in Apple’s first major foray into corporate sales. The former rivals are teaming up to tackle what they see as the next wave in workplace computing: mobile devices.

It’s a sensible match. Apple dominates the tablet market while IBM has a solid reputation with businesses for its software and services.

“If you were building a puzzle, they would fit nicely together with no overlap,” Apple chief executive Tim Cook, who worked for IBM for more than a decade, told Re/Code. Cook talked to reporters with IBM’s chief executive Virginia M. Rometty to discuss the new partnership on Tuesday.

The companies announced they will work together to develop more than 100 mobile applications tailored to work with IBM’s data analytics and cloud services. The applications will be available this fall.

 What will these programs do? Few specifics were given.

The New York Times reported the companies described an airline pilot using a mobile device to calculate of updated fuel use and flight paths as weather conditions change — or an insurance agent doing risk assessments for a potential client. “Rometty said the companies planned to combine data analysis, cloud and mobile technology with Apple’s smartphones and tablets, turning the devices into decision-making tools rather than ones used mainly for email, text-messaging and contacts,” the Times reported.

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