Apple and IBM today unveiled an "exclusive partnership" that melds IBM's big data and analytics capabilities with Apple's iPhone and iPad.

The partnership "aims to redefine the way work will get done, address key industry mobility challenges and spark true mobile-led business change," according to a joint statement from the two companies.

The move will provide:

  • More than 100 industry-specific enterprise solutions including native apps, developed exclusively from the ground up, for iPhone and iPad;
  • IBM cloud services optimized for iOS, including device management, security, analytics and mobile integration;
  • New AppleCare service and support tailored for the enterprise;
  • New "packaged offerings" from IBM for mobile device activation, supply and management.

The IBM MobileFirst for iOS agreement also calls for IBM to sell iPhones and iPads "with the industry-specific solutions to business clients worldwide," according to the statement.

"iPhone and iPad ... have transformed the way people work with over 98% of the Fortune 500 and over 92% of the Global 500 using iOS devices in their business today," said Apple CEO Tim Cook. "For the first time ever, were putting IBMs renowned big data analytics at iOS users fingertips, which opens up a large market opportunity for Apple. This is a radical step for enterprise and something that only Apple and IBM can deliver."

"This alliance with Apple will build on our momentum in bringing ... innovations to our clients globally, and leverages IBMs leadership in analytics, cloud, software and services," said Ginni Rometty, IBM Chairman, President and CEO. "We are delighted to be teaming with Apple, whose innovations have transformed our lives in ways we take for granted, but cant imagine living without. Our alliance will bring the same kind of transformation to the way people work, industries operate and companies perform."

Developing story; More to come.

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