Apple, IBM May Expand Enterprise Arrangement

Apple and IBM are expected to expand the enterprise IT partnership they officially kicked off last year, and it could be powerful, said UBS analyst Steven Milunovich. While he was initially skeptical about the benefit of a partnership between Apple and IBM, Milunovich said there now seems to be "upside potential" for both companies. It may trigger IBM, which benefits from access to Apple's mobile prowess, to add horizontal apps, such as supply chain capabilities, over time, he said. "IBM has been backing into applications through its SaaS acquisitions and analytics expertise; this could be powerful," Milunovich said. The companies last month said that more than a dozen enterprise customers signed on to use their enterprise solution within the first month after launch. Apple CEO Tim Cook said IBM was also engaged with an additional 130 companies. UBS reiterated a buy rating and $130 price target on Apple. Shares of Apple and IBM were each up 0.5% in pre-market trade. Spokespeople for IBM and Apple were not immediately available for comment.

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