Apple and IBM aim to release 100 enterprise-focused apps by the end of the year as part of their MobileFirst partnership to push more iPhones and iPads into businesses.
Apple and IBM announced the collaboration in July, and released the first 10 apps under the MobileFirst for iOS partnership in December. These focused on markets including banking, retail, airlines, financial services and government.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has now confirmed that a further 12 apps will be released this quarter, including some with a focus on new markets in healthcare, energy and utilities and industrial products, and a total of 100 are set for release throughout 2015.
“This will bring us to a total of 22 apps and we’re on track to have over 100 by the end of 2015,” Cook said while discussing Apple's Q1 earnings call.
Cook also said that, since the launch of the first 10 apps, 12 customers have signed up to use Apple iPhone and iPads with the IBM apps, while IBM is in discussion with hundreds more about using the MobileFirst offerings.
“IBM is engaged with more than 130 additional companies looking to empower their employees with MobileFirst for iOS solutions, and the list keeps growing,” he said.
Cook explained that this effort is key to driving the use of iPads in businesses, which is no doubt an area Apple has identified in a bid to stem falling iPad sales.
“The issue is that enterprises, generally speaking, are only deploying iPads to a small percentage of their workforce. And so the real opportunity is to bring mobility into the enterprises and change how people work,” he said.
“In order to do that, you obviously need apps that are written for specific jobs, not just general productivity apps like word processors and spreadsheets and presentation tools, etc.”
Cook said that the partnership with IBM is ideally suited to meting this goal, and that collaborating with another firm underlined Apple's belief in the benefits of the effort.
“If we can really change the way people work, I think the opportunity is enormous,” he said.
IBM will hope that its association with Apple gives it a boost too, after recently reporting lacklustre earnings despite growth in key areas such as cloud, mobile and security.
This has led to reports that IBM is planning a giant round of redundancies, although the company has flatly denied this.
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