Apple and old archrival IBM “fit like a puzzle,” says Tim Cook

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IBM and Apple used to be sworn enemies, but a lot has changed since the early days of the Macintosh and the PC race. Both companies have committed to making Apple software and hardware a one-stop shop for businesses in what some consider one of the “most important and powerful tech partnerships” ever.

In an interview with CNBC, Tim Cook and IBM CEO Virginia Rometty discussed their mutual excitement about the “landmark” partnership.

In the 8-minute segment, Cook described how IBM and Apple “fit like a puzzle.” The tone of shared adoration between he and Rometty is quite different from Steve Jobs flipping off the camera outside IBM headquarters some 30 years ago.

“It takes the best of Apple and the best of IBM and puts those together,” said Cook, explaining why Apple chose IBM as a partner. “There’s no overlap. There’s no competition. They’re totally complimentary.”

Cook said he and Rometty have been talking for years about a potential partnership, and there have been teams within both companions assigned to investigating what the two could do together.

“We found a kindred spirit in IBM.”

“We know that we needed to have a partner that deeply understood all of the industry verticals, that had scale,” Cook said. “We found a kindred spirit in IBM.”

We’ll start to see new iOS software from Apple and IBM for enterprise starting in the fall, with more services slated to arrive next year.

You can watch the full interview with CNBC below. At the very end, the journalist asks Cook about Eddy Cue’s recent comment that Apple’s 2014 product pipeline is the best he has seen in 25 years at the company. “I’d agree with Eddy,” said Cook with a laugh.

Apple and old archrival IBM “fit like a puzzle,” says Tim Cook

  • JJ

    Apple is on a roll. Microsoft should be alarmed. This partnership is huge.

    • aardman

      You don’t say!

  • Grunt_at_the_Point

    Well, business applications makes the 12.9″ iPad a practical device.

  • David

    So, no sales to Jewish businesses then?

  • imajoebob

    Great match (if technology). Apple builds/controls the front end, which connects to the IBM back end. This is as potentially game-changing as when they introduced IBM Terminal emulators to the PC. Only now it’s not a 75 pound desktop with a 9-inch amber or green monitor, but a 1 pound handheld device with an 8-inch Retina display.

    About the only thing missing from sci-fi movies is the holographic display in the middle of the table.

  • Hildebrand

    If Apple gives IBM system level integration, IBM could make their apps exclusive for iOS. That’s the kind of deal that big companies can make. This would really hurt Android and Windows in the enterprise.

    The IBM of the past (hardware, OS) is no longer, so there is no arch rivalry anymore.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath is a senior writer at Cult of Mac and co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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