We’ve all heard it – Apple is going to bed with IBM (or that’s the other way round?) in a move that could give Cook & Co. new clients in the enterprise space, while helping the Big Blue mobilize (and modernize) its offering. Under the deal between the two giants, more than 100 new apps will be developed to support a number of industries, including retail, healthcare, banking, travel and transportation, telecoms and insurance; the first of which should hit the AppStore later this fall.
BlackBerry, obviously, doesn’t like how this sounds and is apparently in talks with potential partners as we speak. According to the Financial Times, the company’s CEO John Chen has started early-stage talks over a response to the joint push into the enterprise space by Apple and IBM. Alas, he hasn’t named any names, leaving us to speculate on our own.
The way I see things, IBM needs a handset maker to offer complete solutions that include cloud services, servers, desktop and laptop computers, and – mobile terminals. BlackBerry too could benefit from a partner like IBM, which sells IT solutions to enterprise and government clients all around the world.
And I would say the Canadian company is best off teaming-up with HP, which too is struggling to stay relevant in the increasingly mobile world. One could argue that both BlackBerry and HP should first deal with their internal problems and only later explore partnership options. However, the time is running out and if something isn’t done quickly enough, they could pretty much face extinction.
HP still has massive resources, global supply chain and a rather similar customer base and product/service offering as IBM. Together with BlackBerry, they stand a chance to offer the most secure mobile solutions on the planet. Heck, they could jointly develop new and innovative products, like let’s say a BlackBerry Padfone-like device. I’ve been rooting for something similar for quite some time. With the BlackBerry Passport coming later this year, the timing is perfect. Just imagine being able to cram the Passport into a tablet or laptop shell and use it as a full-blown PC. I think there’s money to be made here.
Unfortunately, HP’s track-record in the mobile industry is everything but stellar; they managed to ruin webOS, which at one point was a darling of the media. So the question is – does HP has “what it takes” to pull this off? Perhaps with the help of BlackBerry they stand a chance. I think this duo has real potential.
On the other hand, perhaps BlackBerry is best off pursuing partners from the emerging markets where it has the strongest customer base? In that sense, they may want to turn to the likes of Lenovo. What do you think?