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VIDEO: The Apple-IBM Partnership

Apple and IBM are joining forces in enterprise: who wins and who loses?


I joined CNBC’s Bernie Lo this evening to discuss Apple (AAPL) and IBM’s (IBM) announcement that they would be joining forces in the enterprise space.

There is no question that the move is a positive development for Apple, though it might not necessary lead to a large surge in sales. Why? Because Apple’s iPhones and iPads are already present in more than 90% of America’s major companies. And all this despite Apple having no enterprise sales force and, up until now, no major marketing efforts in the enterprise space.

Apple’s products have always been designed for consumers first, but their popularity and versatility allowed them to spill over into the business world.

Bernie asked, somewhat skeptically, if Apple’s sudden push into the enterprise space is due to a lack of other options. With the consumer market saturated, there is nowhere else to go. I agreed that this is true to an extent, but I think it’s also a sign of Apple’s new maturity.

Think back to those old Mac commercials from 10-15 years ago that represented Apple as a trendy young guy and rival Microsoft (MSFT) as a bumbling middle-aged man in a cheap suit. Apple is no longer the young hipster; it’s become the middle-aged man it used to make fun of.

That’s OK. It’s normal for companies to mature.

So, with all of this said, what does Apple’s move mean for its competitors?

The biggest obvious loser is BlackBerry (BBRY), but BlackBerry is already so irrelevant at this point that I would argue that it won’t make much of a difference.

It’s definitely bad news for Google (GOOG), Samsung (SSNLF) and Microsoft, however, because all were themselves trying to build market share in the enterprise market, and this makes Apple a much more formidable competitor .

Charles Lewis Sizemore, CFA, is the editor of Macro Trend Investor and chief investment officer of the investment firm Sizemore Capital Management. As of this writing, he was long MSFT. Click here to receive his FREE weekly e-letter covering top market insights, trends, and the best stocks and ETFs to profit from today’s best global value plays.

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