Dell, BlackBerry dismiss impact from Apple-IBM tie-up

Senior execs do not anticipate strides in enterprise business from partnership

Tags: Apple IncorporatedBlackberry (www.blackberry.com)CanadaDell CorporationIBM (www.ibm.com)USA
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Dell, BlackBerry dismiss impact from Apple-IBM tie-up (Getty Images)
By  Stephen McBride Published  July 27, 2014

Senior executives at Dell and BlackBerry have downplayed the potential impact of the recently announced partnership between IBM and Apple that would see the iPhone maker preload its smartphones and tablets with corporate apps, Reuters reported.

"I do not think that we take the Apple-IBM tie-up terribly seriously; I think it just made a good press release," said John Swainson, now head of Dell's global software business, but formerly a senior executive at IBM.

BlackBerry CEO John Chen, in an interview with Financial Times on Thursday, also dismissed the partnership, comparing it to when "two elephants start dancing."

BlackBerry and Dell are both exploring more enterprise-focused business models after long struggles to find winning formulae for their devices in the consumer market. Both pioneers in their respective fields, Dell in PCs and Blackberry in smartphones, they have been unable to appeal significantly to mobile consumers as Apple and Samsung became dominant in those categories. Dell has since gone private in a leveraged buyout and BlackBerry explored the possibility of selling itself before appointing John Chen as part of a proposed turnaround.

"I have some trouble understanding how IBM reps are going to really help Apple very much in terms of introducing devices into their accounts," said Swainson, who spent over 20 years at Big Blue. "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 believes that large corporate clients will not be swayed by the consumer appeal of Apple products and will demand stringent security features.

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