Apple, IBM Team on AppleCare for the Enterprise

Enterprise IT users are seeing the first hints of what Apple and IBM might offer them through a new partnership, as a new "AppleCare for Enterprise" page appeared Wednesday on Apple's Web site. Announced in July, the joint Apple-IBM initiative focuses on mobile enterprise apps for the iPhone and iPad.

The service will provide enterprise customers with 24/7 phone support and priority on-site repair, according to the AppleCare page. Each customer will also get a designated account manager who will act as a liaison for AppleCare services and provide monthly activity reports on support calls and repairs.

The AppleCare service promises to replace -- within one business day "in most cases" -- up to 10 percent of an enterprise's covered iPads or iPhone if they are accidentally damaged by employees. No pricing details for the service are available on Apple's Web site. AppleCare for Enterprise will be available in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.

'A Radical Step for Enterprise'

We reached out to IBM spokesman Edward Barbini to learn more about the AppleCare for Enterprise services, but Barbini said the company wasn't yet ready to release any details about the program. He added that he also could not yet provide any information about when the service would be officially rolled out.

When they announced their partnership, Apple and IBM said the goal was to bring "IBM's big data and analytics capabilities to iPhone and iPad."

"For the first time ever we're putting IBM's renowned big data analytics at iOS users' fingertips, which opens up a large market opportunity for Apple," Apple CEO Tim Cook said at the time. The joint effort represented "a radical step for enterprise," he added.

According to the terms of the partnership agreement, IBM and Apple are working together to develop "a new class...

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