We’d heard back in 2012 that Apple CEO Tim Cook spent 80-90 percent of his time on an iPad, but the WSJ reports today that Cook thinks that’s the way it should be for all of us – and he believes the partnership with IBM can help make that vision a reality.

“There’s no reason why everyone shouldn’t be like that. Imagine enterprise apps being as simple as the consumer apps that we’ve all gotten used to. That’s the way it should be” …

The plan is to collaborate on developing workplace apps that provide a friendly front-end (provided by Apple) to big-data analytics (provided by IBM).

Apple and IBM said the ambition is to reimagine how people work by connecting securely the insights gleaned from big data analytics with an easy-to-use app on smartphones and tablets that consumers are familiar with.

IBM Chief Executive Virginia Rometty said Apple engineers are able “to take the complex and render it simple.”

The two companies intend to create more than 100 apps together, with the first of them available in the fall. As an example of the value of packaging sophisticated analytics data into an easy-to-understand front-end, Rometty said that one of the first apps launched would be aimed at airlines.

One of the first apps under the new initiative helps airline pilots determine the appropriate amount of fuel to carry on a flight. This requires not only crunching data but presenting it in an easy-to-understand way on the pilot’s tablet computer.

We’ve already seen a flurry of airlines, including American, United, BBA and Jet Blue using iPads on the flight-deck, making this app a logical next step.

Cook said he could see a day when “everyone in every enterprise” has an iPad. The vision may be exaggerated, and I’m sure app developers would have some views on the practicalities of doing 80 percent of their work on iPads, but it does tend to underline my view that Apple has big expectations of the partnership.

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Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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