The two computer giants have maintained for many years a healthy competition in the PC world, illustrated by campaigns became famous.
Steve Jobs was he turned in his grave? The announcement by IBM and Apple to increase the penetration of the iPhone and iPad in enterprises is surprising when you know the historic rivalry between the two giants, carefully maintained by the inventor of the alliance for Mac decades.
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At first glance, everything opposes Big Blue and the firm at the apple. A difference of style first: the first, installed for over a hundred years on the East Coast of the United States, cultivates its image and needy serious business, backed by the famous suit and tie the « IBMers »; the second, Californian pure juice, seeks to distinguish itself by its « relative » freedom of spirit and its « cool » again illustrated by the eternal range polo-jeans-sneakers Steve Jobs.
In terms of positioning, if the two groups have flourished together with the explosion of the personal computer in the 1980s, IBM has gradually turned to business, when Apple insisted on the consumer market, hesitating not to diversify its products.
« Welcome, IBM. seriously «
This competition has materialized in communication campaigns including the Californian group. The most famous of them obviously remains the Apple advertising the release of the Macintosh in 1984. This short film, made at the time by acclaimed director Ridley Scott and aired during the Super Bowl, put directed by subjugation of an entire people to a tyrant finally released thanks to a young woman. The message was clear: the Mac can free you from chains introduced by traditional computing – Understanding IBM.
Three years earlier, Apple had already shown with a printed in the Wall Street Journal advertisement in which he saluted ironically the arrival of the New York group on the market for personal computers. « Welcome, IBM. Seriously, « laughed the firm at the apple. Both companies were at the time pioneers in the fledgling PC market.
This well orchestrated rivalry has not prevented the two actors to collaborate over the years. IBM and Apple had established a first alliance in the early 1990s, which at that time had already done much talking. The two groups decided to work together to create innovative software and develop new machines more powerful. At the time, it was John Sculley who was at the helm of the group, while Steve Jobs was left to try adventure NeXT.
The two computer giants have collaborated since 1994 to develop a range of microprocessors called Power PC. This will equip many Mac models until the mid-2000s, before Apple turns to Intel.
Tim Cook, a former « Big Blue »
Since IBM left the PC world in 2005, after the sale of its personal computer business to China’s Lenovo, the competition between the two companies is less obvious. It is even less so since Big Blue has decided to further ease its dependence on hardware this year by selling its entry-level (x86) servers even Lenovo. « In 1984, we were competitors. In 2014, I do not think you can find two more complementary [IBM and Apple] « companies, said Tim Cook on Tuesday.
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The successor to Steve Jobs, Tim Cook, himself embodies the evolution of Apple’s more pragmatic strategy. This type of agreement illustrates some form of « normalization » of the firm at the apple. After breaking the taboo of the redistribution of profits to shareholders, Tim Cook innovates again by sealing an alliance with another computer giant.
« Apple is looking for growth opportunities. Such partnerships can help. Others may follow, « imagine an analyst. Tim Cook, who has worked twelve years with IBM, this alliance is certainly of particular importance.