Apple scores a big win with IBM deal
Just wait until corporate IT departments start ripping out their PC gear to install Macs and iStuff.
How big a deal is the Apple-IBM deal? Wrong question. How smart is the Apple-IBM deal for Apple? Very.
I know IBM (IBM) is rallying harder than Apple (AAPL) on its newfound affiliation with the best ecosystem in the world. That's all well and good, and perhaps Ginny Rometty can spin the earnings that are reported Thursday with some Apple-infused excitement.
But to me, this is all about IT -- meaning that the objections of the IT departments are finally being met from the ground up.
We all know what's been going on at companies in this country for years and years. Ingrained IT people have been reluctant to support Apple, because Apple is a consumer company. It always wants us to carry around many devices. It always pleads that it is security that keeps the WINTEL system in place with its Blackberry adjunct.
We are all sick of hearing it. We -- or if you are older, like me, our kids -- would not want to buy a WINTEL device unless someone put a gun to our heads, which is exactly what the IT departments in almost all large companies have been doing for years and years.
IBM rebuts the objection. IBM is one of those shot-calling companies that shouldn't be calling the shots but just does. All of us have experienced, at one time or another, the brick wall that is IBM, which stands for "you can't use Apple in this barren ecosystem."
Now IBM will stand for "you have to retrain all of your people to support Apple, and we are no longer blessing the security issue against Apple."
Now, of course, the Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), Dell (DELL), Blackberry (BBRY) nexus has always provided a healthy discount to anything Apple. The cost of a PC and a phone from any of those companies is pretty much nil. They just want in to be able to sell you value-added products.
It will be interesting to see if companies are willing to pay to buy all Apple systems for the enterprise. Would they rather give you a cheap HP or Dell desktop and pay for your Blackberry? Or will they go all in on Apple and bet it might actually be cheaper to buy you Apple hardware for the office and sync it with your iPhone?
Will the troops be able to clamor for the Apple ecosystem, or will they have to settle for an iPhone or a tablet or a personal computer that has to sync with the cheap stuff from Dell or HP?
That, to me, is the real question. Apple is not a Trojan horse company. It is not willing to give away anything to get an account -- not a PC and not a phone. But the IT people will be besieged with requests to allow Apple consumers to be part of the overall system, and the companies may just have to buy hardware if IBM suggests they do.
So to me, watch the wins. Watch the rip-outs. Watch the ground-up groundswell. That's what will tell you if we can really raise numbers for Apple.
Raise numbers for IBM off this? I just don't see it.
But it is hard to believe that numbers can stay the same for Apple.
And the numbers are all that matter, especially when you are dealing with a stock that sells for 15x earnings.
Jim Cramer's Action Alerts Plus: Check out this charitable trust portfolio for the stocks Cramer thinks could be winners. The portfolio
is long AAPL.
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Jimmy, Apple products have to be the most overrated keeping up with the Jones products ever produced. Companies buy what ever hits the Bottom Line best and they aren't that concerned about what IBM or anyone else suggests they do.
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