I was awakened recently to some alarming news. Apple is partnering with IBM? Steve Jobs must be rolling over in his grave! The award winning, famous 1984 ad (the one that only ran one time on national television) is hereby debunked. However, that’s not the only thing changing with “The Big A” in Cupertino, CA. Let’s recap this year for Apple…

  1. March 2014: After 4 years of dragging it’s feet, Microsoft releases Word, Excel and PowerPoint for the iPad. Sure it costs $120 / year, but you can add it to 10 machines – 5 laptops and 5 mobile devices. Clearly, people do not need to by a Microsoft Surface, anymore. Team Ballmer-Gates must have been screaming!
  2. May 2014: In a deal that many people thought was media hype or a publicity stunt, Apple buys Beats for $3 Billion – the most they have ever paid for a company. Did they buy it for the headphones or the music service? Don’t worry; Apple has more than $150 billion (cash) to burn.
  3. July 2014: IBM (aka – Big Brother) partners with Apple on mobile solutions using the iPad. IBM consultants and employees will promote the iPad as a mobile solution to it’s massive database of enterprise level clients. Similarly, Apple and IBM will partner on the creation and development hundreds of apps for corporations interested in sophisticated, high level solutions.

Apple products have always been two things: exclusive and anti – PC. Now, the nation’s number one mobile tech device maker is partnering with the two companies commonly referred to as “The Evil Empire.” What gives? Clearly this is not Steve Jobs’ Apple anymore. Tim Cook is showing there is a new Sheriff in town. Is this good for consumers, businesses or both?

Apple and Big Blue

Apple and Big Blue

  • Apple and Microsoft: The iPad is one of the most popular and prolific tablets developed. The Microsoft Office suite is one of the most popular software programs for business and consumer use. This is a match made it heaven. Why? The iPad is a powerful and robust device for consuming and creating content. Adding these tools to the iPad arsenal of features enhances its functionality.
  • Apple and Beats: With this one, I have decided to put a lot more trust in what Apple is doing, and not rely on what I am seeing / reading / hearing. My hope is that Apple is bringing in fresh ideas for their music business. They need someone to bring a  new look to iTunes and make younger audiences want to subscribe to the service. Dr. Dre (Rapper) and Johnny Iovine (Producer), can bring a new face to iTunes. Is $3 billion too much to pay for a small headphones company? Maybe, but it they bought them before Google did.
  • Apple and IBM: Apple’s founder told people to “Think Different.” IBM’s founder Thomas J. Watson lead the company under the motto “Think.” As surprising as this partnership is, it makes a lot of sense. IBM has been traditionally BIG BUSINESS. Apple is a leader in consumer electronics. Through this partnership, the two companies will develop apps for enterprise level clients – an area sorely needed for the iPad. IBM employees will actually promote and sell iPads to appropriate businesses. Holy Macintosh, Batman!

During Apple Keynote addresses, Craig Federighi (Senior VP of Software Engineering) has become the new face that leads and inspires audiences with his engaging style. Tim Cook (Apple CEO) is forging partnerships and relationships previously believed to be taboo. Although, the classic 1984 Mac commercial debuted more than 30 years ago, that era has come and gone. Clearly, Apple is forging ahead on a new path in a new era by a new leader. It’s the same company; they are just exercising their right to “Thinking Differently.”