Apple and IBM Roll Out MobileFirst Apps for iPhone, iPad

Apple and IBM launched the first round of IBM MobileFirst apps for the iPhone and iPad on Wednesday. The apps are part of the business collaboration between the two companies to help push iOS solutions deeper into the enterprise market.

Watch out Microsoft, Apple and IBM are taking over the enterprise mobile marketWatch out Microsoft, Apple and IBM are taking over the enterprise mobile market

Apple said MobileFirst apps are now available for banking, retail, insurance, financial services, telecommunications and for governments and airlines as part of the team up. The apps are customizable, so organizations can tailor them to fit specific needs.

Both companies touted the apps as a key part in mobile business management. IBM Global Business Services senior vice president Bridget van Kralingen said, "What we’re delivering aims directly at the new quest of business—smart technologies that unlock new value at the intersection of big data and individual engagement."

Apple and IBM announced their MobileFirst partnership in July, and followed up in the fall with a series of seminars to catch the interest of enterprise-level companies. At the time, Apple said over 100 industry-specific apps were in development, and IBM was developing iOS-optimized cloud services for mobile device management, security, and analytics.

Teaming up with IBM gives Apple more credibility in the enterprise market where IT departments have been leary of trusting the company thanks to its long track record of failing understand potential client's needs — plus, IBM already has relationships with enterprise-level businesses looking for reliable mobile computing solutions. For IBM, the deal gives it a mobile platform it can offer its clients with complete with hardware, apps, and back-end support.

The collaboration also includes a new enterprise-level version of AppleCare support for iOS devices.

IBM said Banorte, Citi, Air Canada, and Sprint are among its first MobileFirst for iOS clients.