blackberry john chen

You would think hearing that Apple is teaming up with IBM to push further into the enterprise space would be worrisome for competitors. But both Dell and BlackBerry, who are each in the process of reshaping their businesses, say they’re unfazed.

In an interview this week, Dell’s John Swainson said that while he thought the announcement “made for a good press release,” he fails to see how the pair can prosper. Likewise, BlackBerry CEO John Chen likened the deal to “two elephants dancing.”

Reuters has more comments from Swainson: 

“I do not think that we take the Apple-IBM tie-up terribly seriously. I think it just made a good press release,” John Swainson, who heads Dell’s global software business, said in an interview with Reuters in Toronto on Thursday.

Swainson, who spent over two decades in senior roles at IBM, said, “I have some trouble understanding how IBM reps are going to really help Apple very much in terms of introducing devices into their accounts. I mean candidly, they weren’t very good at doing it when it was IBM-logoed products, so I do not get how introducing Apple-logoed stuff is going to be much better.”

And here’s the Financial Times, who spoke with Chen:

Mr Chen said that the partnership between Apple and IBM was both good and bad news for BlackBerry. He likened the tie-up to when “two elephants start dancing”, adding that it would be interesting to see how they worked together given both companies “are used to taking charge”.

Shares in BlackBerry fell almost 5% last week following the announcement by IBM and Apple. Analysts see the deal as a direct threat to the Canadian company, who is in the middle of restructuring itself around enterprise-specific software and services.

But Chen isn’t concerned. The CEO says that BlackBerry is more nimble now than ever before, and it is currently in discussions with a few companies to strike up a partnership of its own—although he didn’t say who. Some folks think Dell is on the list.

tim cook apple ibmTim Cook and IBM CEO Ginni Rometty  

As part of their deal, Apple and IBM will produce more than 100 apps targeting industries such as retail, healthcare, banking and travel, with a focus on security. IBM will also begin selling iPhones and iPads pre-loaded with industry-specific solutions.

  • dpacemaker

    Of course they say they aren’t fazed. If they said that Wall Street would kill their stocks.

    • Quang

      yeah… will CEOs say they are scared of their competitor?!? Will they says their company will be affected?!? I dont think they will say that haha

    • Manuel Molina

      Well, they aren’t fazed because they are both already done as a company. I mean, would you be scared if your company is about to bite the dust?

  • To me it would seem like “Two elephants dancing” would cause one heck of a commotion. It might not knock Dell and BlackBerry down for the count but “Two elephants dancing” should definitely disrupt the business of Dell and BlackBerry one way or another…

    • Quang

      if the two elephants sneeze, others will get cold haha 🙂

  • At

    For some reason I think of what Steve ballmer said about the ipad and iPhone

  • JulianZH

    i didnt know dell still in the game.

    • Mozaik

      Dell consumer product maybe worse but they have best enterprise product that apple also can’t offer yet.

      • Ashish Maheshwari

        the build quality of their consumer products (specially laptops) has degraded so much that they are unusable now.
        and in enterprise products like laptops, IBM thinkpads beat the shit out of dell (vostro, latitude series) any day :p

    • im2slick4u

      I have a dell Hackintosh. If it can run Mac its in the game.

  • Joseph A. Ahmad

    IBM is definitely looking for a platform to open up Watson to. Let’s think about this for a minute. Siri has Wolfram|Alpha technology baked right in, imagine if IBM was able to bake in Watson’s resources into Siri as well? That right there is a legitimate reason to be fazed, Blackberry and Dell.

  • moofer

    Just keep dismissing it. Ballmer-style. That’s how businesses crater. I mean, more than they already have, perhaps it’s time something worried these clowns.

  • Bugs Bunnay

    chen? I don’t think anyone cares about chen or his company. dell? meh I guess if you don’t build your own computer you can probably get one from them… or another competitor. also, swainson says he fails to see how the two can prosper… well watch and learn.

  • jack

    CEOs are such clowns