Apple and IBM add three more apps to MobileFirst portfolio

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IBM and Apple, together at last.
Photo: Apple
Photo: Apple

Apple and IBM’s partnership to bring iOS apps into the workplace produced 10 apps last year. Today at Mobile World Congress, IBM announced that it is launching three more MobileFirst apps aimed at the banking, airline, and retail industries.

The three new iOS apps are available for deployment and customization starting today. The apps are part of Tim Cook’s initiative to change the way people work by giving companies access to high-quality iOS apps. IBM says its clients for the MobileFirst apps include American Eagle Outfitters, Sprint, Air Canada, Banorte, and more than 50 others.

Here’s a quick look at the three new apps:

New Apple partner IBM prepares for another round of layoffs

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Tim Cook announcing Apple's partnership with IBM CEO Ginni Rometty last summer. Photo: Apple
Tim Cook announcing Apple's partnership with IBM CEO Ginni Rometty last summer. Photo: Apple

Update: Downplaying reports about the size of its impending layoffs, IBM says it will let go of only “several thousand people,” not the much-larger number reported by Forbes. We’ve updated this story and its headline to reflect IBM’s statements.

Things aren’t going well for IBM. Six months into its partnership with Apple, Big Blue is reportedly preparing for the largest corporate layoff in history.

After nearly three years of quarterly revenue decline, IBM is preparing to ax a staggering 111,800 employees, according to Forbes. Saying it does not respond to “ridiculous” rumors, IBM says the layoffs will be much smaller than that. How the layoffs will affect the company’s business with Apple remains unclear.

Apple’s new hire set to lead enterprise push like never before

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Gene testing, coming soon to an iPhone near you. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
The iPhone: coming soon to a business near you. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Photo:

Apple is serious about getting its products into the enterprise market — and to prove it, it’s calling in the services of longtime Hewlett-Packard executive John Solomon to take charge.

Solomon’s precise job title and role at Apple are unclear, but according to the well-connected Re/code, he will be helping Apple “boost sales to big companies and government agencies with large technology budgets.”

Apple and IBM launch first wave of enterprise apps

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The first wave of apps marking the partnership of Apple and IBM are here. Photo: Apple/IBM
The first wave of apps marking the partnership of Apple and IBM are here. Photo: Apple/IBM

After unveiling a partnership with IBM back in July this year — designed to combine IBM’s enterprise data specialties with Apple’s iOS hardware and software — Apple today announced the first 10 of its iOS apps released as part of the agreement.

In a press release, Apple’s Phil Schiller describes it as a “big step for iPhone and iPad in the enterprise,” and notes how “Apple and IBM are bringing together the world’s best technology with the smartest data and analytics to help businesses redefine how work gets done.”

Apple investigating FaceTime hardware for the enterprise market

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facetimeiconmakesnosense

Could Apple be working on a higher-resolution version of FaceTime for use in enterprise?

A new patent published Tuesday suggests that it’s at least something the company is looking at, as it describes a multi-view video conferencing camera system that uses scalable video encoding. The patented device, which was first applied for back in June 2012, could compete with Microsoft’s 360 degrees Roundtable conferencing technology, as shown below.

Given Apple’s recent deal with IBM to make hardware and software for businesses, and its successful focus on enterprise under Tim Cook, this could certainly be a valuable area for Apple to explore — particularly since it could conceivably work with a range of Apple devices, including Macs, iPads and iPhones.