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Apple, IBM to introduce 12 apps for business this quarter

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Apple Inc and IBM are planning to unveil another 12 applications for businesses and governments this quarter as their partnership starts to pick up steam.

[SAN FRANCISCO] Apple Inc and IBM are planning to unveil another 12 applications for businesses and governments this quarter as their partnership starts to pick up steam.

The apps will include functions for new industries like health care, energy and utilities, Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said on the company's earnings call Tuesday. New customers include Florida's Miami-Dade County and teen retailer American Eagle Outfitters Inc.

The new apps will bring the total produced by the six- month-old partnership to 22, and Cook said the companies are on track to have more than 100 by the end of the year. Apple is trying to spur iPad sales after four straight quarters of declines, while International Business Machines Corp. is banking on mobile software, data analytics and cloud computing for growth. No financial information has been disclosed for the partnership.

"We are not hanging numbers out there to be measured at this point, but we don't do a lot of partnerships," Cook said. "So when we do one, it is significant and it's because we really believe in it." The partnership's initial announcement in July came as a surprise, with the companies saying that IBM would use its sales staff to sell Apple devices and that they'd develop applications together. Apple and IBM are trying to capitalize on the proliferation of smartphones and tablets that are in the hands of workers across a variety of industries.

To succeed, apps need to be created for specific jobs, not just as productivity tools, Cook said.

BLOOMBERG