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In 2005 IBM stepped away from the consumer products market to focus on business customers. The move came after years of trying to compete with Apple, which of course has dominated the consumer market with iPhones and iPads. The rivalry between the two companies dates back to when personal computers first became available, so in a way the recent announcement of the business' partnering up was a bit of a surprise.

On another level, the deal makes perfect sense. The companies plan to use IBM's sales resources to move Apple's mobile devices into industries not previously targeted by the iPhone maker. Companies in a wide variety of industries, including banking and health care, have long used IBM's services and software, and the recently announced deal will allow businesses to better utilize workers' mobile devices.

Smartphones are everywhere. In most work environments, however, mobile devices are generally used for calendars and email. The Apple-IBM partnership will focus on creating business tools to be used on smartphones and other devices. For example, you might soon see business apps for analytics and sales functions.

Of course, with a business using mobile devices in daily processes, another concern is security. IBM and Apple plan to address the issue, as well as develop a variety of applications for specific industries.

Business transactions such as this one require complex and enforceable contracts. Without a good contract, too many business partnerships end up in court. An attorney with experience in handling business transactions and contracts can help you cover your legal bases and limit liability.

Source: Bloomberg, "Apple Puts IBM Rivalry to Rest With Corporate Sales Deal," Adam Satariano and Alex Barinka, July 15, 2014

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