For years the mobile industry has wondered what Apple would do next. How could the firm possibly keep its strong growth rate going in the face of market saturation and increased competition from the likes of Samsung and Sony? The answer was always a strong ‘emerging market; Most expected that Apple would, one day, release a cheap, knock-off iPhone with a sell-em-cheap attitude, helping it counter the Android invasion in markets such as China, India and Brazil. Annoyingly, though, Apple refused to do that. Instead, it kept bringing out expensive high-end devices. Even its iPhone 5C costs more than £400 and is clearly not made with emerging markets in mind. What was Apple thinking? It has the consumer market tied up, so where else can it go? Well, Tim Cook is clearly a shrewd businessman and knows that many firms have more money to spend than small nations, so why not try the enterprise?

IBM and Apple have been working together on the venture for several months, and they are jointly working on more than 100 business software programs developed exclusively for Apple’s iOS operating system and for use on iPhones and iPads. The applications will be tailored for use in industries including retail, health care, transportation, banking, insurance and telecommunications. “We’ve already seen some unbelievable work,” Timothy D. Cook, Apple’s chief executive, said in an interview conducted along with Virginia M. Rometty, IBM’s chief executive. Mr. Cook described the venture with IBM as “a landmark partnership” for both companies.