Apple is looking to reinforce the position of its iPhones and iPads in the workplace with a partnership with Cisco Systems.
The world's second-largest manufacturer of smartphones and Cisco, one of the world's largest business network-equipment makers, said Monday that they would create a "fast lane" for devices running on Apple's iOS software -- namely iPhones and iPads -- that would allow them to zip through Cisco's business environment. The companies said Cisco's networks and the iOS devices will be optimized to better work together.
The deal allows Apple to strengthen its growing position in the business world, a domain once dominated by BlackBerry. While the iPhone is fairly ubiquitous in the workplace, Apple is keen on getting more businesses to use its iPad tablet, which has suffered six consecutive declines in sales. Cisco, meanwhile, gets another big-name partner and added benefit to tout to its business customers.
Cisco Chairman John Chambers had Apple CEO Tim Cook join him on stage at a Cisco event on Monday to discuss the partnership.
As part of the deal, iPhones will better work with Cisco's collaboration tools, including its videoconferencing products, as well with Cisco's own work desk phones.
The relationship between Apple and Cisco hasn't always been a close one. In January 2007, shortly after Apple unveiled the first iPhone, Cisco filed a lawsuit, accusing the company of infringing its iPhone trademark. The two settled the suit the following the month, pledging to explore how they could work together in the areas of security, and consumer and business communications.