Last year Apple and IBM announced a partnership in which it would see Apple make a bigger push in the enterprise market. Earlier this year, IBM was reportedly planning on purchasing as many as 50k MacBooks to give out to employees by the end of 2015, but now thanks to a leaked internal memo video obtained by MacRumors, that number appears to have jumped to as much as 200,000.
The video features IBM’s CIO Jeff Smith who said that he had met up with Apple’s CIO Niall O’Connor and talked about the possibility of purchasing more MacBooks for their employees. According to the transcript, “And I said, ‘Well who’s your largest corporate customer?’ And he said ‘Well, that customer has got about 25,000 MacBooks a year.’ And I said, ‘Well we could be 150-200,000.’ And he goes ‘Jeff, that’s a great idea! We’re gonna come here, you know, next week…you bring your whole team,’ and that’s exactly what happened.”
That being said based on what Smith said, it sounded more like him tossing out an idea as opposed to it being a done deal. In the video, Smith also recounts a recent conversation Apple’s CEO Tim Cook had with IBM’s VP Fletcher Previn, in which Previn suggested that such an initiative could see anywhere between 50-75% of IBM’s employees switch from Lenovo ThinkPad laptops to MacBooks.
This move isn’t too surprising given IBM and Apple’s close working relationship. So far as a result of that relationship, Apple and IBM have put out apps designed for the enterprise, and in Japan both companies have agreed to work with Japan Post in helping to address the needs of the elderly population through quality of life apps.