A man with his eye on the ball and his analysis on the money is Horace Dediu of Asymco.
He is famed as an ‘industry analyst with a focus on mobile phones and especially Apple’, with Wikipedia noting ‘he is known for his analysis of Apple's business strategy and predictions of its financials’ - as well as blogging at his site, Asymco.
His most recent post notes what he says is ‘the biggest news of 2014’ and says that ‘As corporate romances go, IBM and Apple’s must rank among the most unexpected.’
His post is worth reading in full, but he says ‘this new union is profoundly important. It indicates and evidences change on a vast scale’.
He notes Apple and IBM have joined forces around ‘mobile’ and can thus achieve their individual goals better.
Dediu says IBM and Apple’s ‘recent apps release showed just how transformative this relationship could be’, and that ‘we were witnesses to apps which appeared to be designed for users[!] They were not designed for committees that prepare checklists of requirements.’
He also notes ‘We must applaud IBM for having the courage to resist the featuritis which plagues enterprise software design. This resistance requires saying No to those who specify and are thus authorized to purchase software and hardware’.
Amongst other things, Dediu states: ‘Simultaneously we must applaud Apple for accepting that there are throngs of unwashed masses laboring in cubicles which deserve to be served. They may be employed by laggards but they are people too. Apple management has made clear that they are being more inclusive and open minded. Extending that open hand to the downtrodden salaried masses must surely bring a tear to one’s eye.’
Saying it is, in his opinion, it is a very significant development, and concludes by saying that: ‘As a romance, it is at least as newsworthy as the divorce of Wintel was in 2012.’