Most people might think of Google or Microsoft when they think of “Apple’s Rival”, but there’s one that’s much older. Apple’s first big rival was IBM. When Apple started off, they were certainly hitting above their weight class by going up against IBM, which was a giant in the tech industry, especially in business. The idea of a personal computer was unheard of, but computers were used regularly in business. Apple wasn’t just going after the enteprise sector, but also after a new market they had essentially created. IBM was their main rival before Microsoft ripped off Mac OS, and Apple wasn’t shy about taking shots at them. There’s a photo of a young Steve Jobs standing in front of an IBM corporate building (giving them the finger), Apple’s famous 1984 ad was about an IBM controlled world, and Apple took out a number of print ads taking shots at the tech giant. Apple is now a tech giant themselves, and they’re looking to make amends it would seem. Apple and IBM announced a partnership to create apps and services for the enterprise market, and it makes sense. Apple and IBM need each other.
Apple’s iOS devices are secure, easy to use, and popular with consumers. They’d be great for businesses as well, but they haven’t caught on in the enterprise market as much as Apple wishes. Believe it or not, Blackberry is still popular with a number of executives, and Apple sees that as a market they can expand into. iOS devices are secure, they should be great for business, but they may need the apps to help them really get their foot in the door. That’s where IBM comes in. By working together, IBM can sell more of their apps, and Apple can sell more iPhones and iPads. It’s a win-win.
Steve Jobs may have seen IBM as an enemy, but they’re on level playing field these days. Tim Cook sees the partnership as a mutually benefitial situation that will be profitable for both companies. It’s strange to see old rivals working so closely with one another, but times change, and busnesses have to change to keep up with those changes.