Why Apple and IBM Will Not Work.

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I don’t like the IBM-Apple partnership. It will benefit IBM but not Apple. Apple is the device owner. That’s its art. When we start to hear co-marketing phrases like “big data analytics down to the fingertips” it feels like Apple is being relegated to an end-point not the design marvel we know and love. It begins to imply that the data, analytics, the cloud – read the big machine – is more important than the amazing living breathing organ Apple puts in the hands of consumers.

Tim Cook and Apple like the fact that they will now have access to IBM’s huge salesforce and that it will sow the iOS operating system into businesses with gale force winds. But Apple iPhones and iPads are already in 92% of the Fortune 500. And frankly, in the hands of the influencers, not the unwashed tech masses. Masses who are not part of the Apple franchise. Masses who may fly to the next big thing, when and if it suits them.

What has made Apple such a strong brand over the years is it unique design, form factor, software and intense user community. The IBM move will get IT involved at corporations and will put emphasis on the pipes, data and iron (big machines), and RFP – not where Apple has typically done its best work.

When I put on my prediction hat, my “beyond the dashboard” visor, I see this partnership breaking up in 30 months, if not before. Mark your calendars for 2017. Peace.