Apple and IBM's new partnership is an effort to support iOS in large businesses.
Apple and IBM are working together again. No, it's not a revival of PowerPC Macs—the two companies have entered into an agreement to strengthen Apple's position in large businesses using IBM's software, services, and partnerships.
The deal focuses mostly on things that will make iOS devices more palatable to people who are used to working with tightly controlled Windows PCs. IBM will offer "more than 100 industry-specific enterprise solutions including native apps" made specifically for the iPhone and iPad under the "IBM MobileFirst Solutions for iOS" banner, though the press release isn't specific about what kind of apps those will be or what they'll enable. IBM will offer analytics and mobile device management services to businesses as well.
Apple and IBM will also join forces to offer a new enterprise-specific version of AppleCare. Apple will offer users and IT workers round-the-clock phone support, and IBM will be able to provide on-site support and repair services. IBM will be able to sell and lease iOS devices to its clients.
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