Money Minute: Apple, IBM Team Up to Boost Business Apps
They say the passage of time heals all wounds. Well, two one-time rivals are now joining forces to boost both of their businesses.
They make for strange bedfellows but Apple (AAPL) and IBM (IBM), which once competed in the personal computer era, are now teaming up in the digital age.
The two are going to be working together to create business apps that both hope will make them more attractive to corporate clients. Apple will get the chance to sell more iPhones and iPads to those clients. And Big Blue gets the opportunity to gain more revenue off its business software and services. The company, once a leader in hardware, has since sold its PC business to China's Lenovo and shifted focus to software and services. The deal stipulates IBM employees will provide support for Apple products to corporate clients much like AppleCare, which is available to Apple's retail customers.
Another partnership in the tech world is attracting some eyeballs. Google (GOOG) is going to be collaborating with Swiss pharmaceutical-giant Novartis (NVS) to create a so-called "smart contact lens." The lens attempts to detect blood sugar levels, which is important for diabetics to track. In January Google said the lenses would be able to track the data and upload it to smartphones almost in real time. Novartis had tried to create a similar contact lens on its own several years ago. The company's CEO said Google's engineers are doing incredible things with technology. The announcement comes at a time when many tech companies are looking at ways to tap into the health care industry to grow their businesses.
On Tuesday, stocks ended mixed on Wall Street, with the Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) gaining 5 points, the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) dropping 24 and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) falling 3 points.
China's e-commerce juggernaut Alibaba is pushing further into the entertainment business. It has just signed a deal with Lions Gate Entertainment (LGF) to distribute hit shows like Mad Men and box office draws like Twilight through its set-top boxes as Chinese viewers are increasingly drawn to entertainment that can be enjoyed from the comfort of their couches. This is Alibaba's first content deal with an American company and comes as the firm is trying to grow its business as it gears up for a much anticipated U.S. listing that could be one of the largest in history.
And finally, you might think the top CEO of the year award should go to a hot tech company like Facebook (FB), Amazon.com (AMZN) or Tesla (TSLA). Well, the editors at Chief Executive magazine think otherwise and have instead given their annual award to an old media titan -- Walt Disney's (DIS) Bob Iger. Iger, who has been the top dog at Disney for nine years, is lauded for smart acquisitions, which include its purchases of Pixar and Marvel. The stock reached an all-time high last February, tripling in price since Iger took over in 2005.
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