29 Jul 2014
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Apple / IBM deal doesn’t scare Dell, or BlackBerry…

As excited investors cartwheel down the corridors of power at Apple and IBM headquarters, over at Dell and BlackBerry, the mood remains calm.

Faced with a new market threat following IBM’s move to load iPhones and iPads with corporate applications, the industry has reacted with a simple shrug of the shoulders.

"I do not think that we take the Apple-IBM tie-up terribly seriously,” claims John Swainson, Dell’s head of global software, when speaking with Reuters last week.

An IBM veteran himself, many believe Swainson is well-placed to downplay the partnership, and claiming it’s nothing more than “just a good press release” offers the clearest indication yet to how Dell see the alliance.

“I have some trouble understanding how IBM reps are going to really help Apple very much in terms of introducing devices into their accounts,” Swainson told Reuters.

“I mean candidly, they weren't very good at doing it when it was IBM-logoed products, so I do not get how introducing Apple-logoed stuff is going to be much better."

Swainson’s scathing put-down of the new partnership was also echoed by BlackBerry CEO John Chen, who likened the deal to when “two elephants start dancing.”

With the industry somewhat unfazed by the move, Swainson did acknowledge that joining forces and strengthening partnerships was the new norm, while in the same breath refusing to comment on a potential connection with BlackBerry.

"Dell's always been in a partnership-driven model,” he added. “As Dell has evolved it has focused on some pieces of the equation, but not all.”

Should Dell / BlackBerry take the IBM / Apple deal seriously?

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