Apple, IBM in massive enterprise hardware, software partnership

Exclusive: Apple, IBM CEOs
Exclusive: Apple, IBM CEOs

Tech behemoths Apple and IBM announced a partnership Tuesday that could make Apple—traditionally a consumer brand—a major player in the business market.

IBM said it would create a class of more than 100 business applications exclusively for iPhones and iPads to run on Apple's iOS platform. In return, IBM will sell Apple's products with 100 industry-specific apps to its clients worldwide.

Rita Qyian | AFP (L) | Craig Warga | Bloomberg (R) | Getty Images

Some of the services IBM will provide via iOS include device management, security, analytics and mobile integration, they said in a release. In return, Apple's vaunted AppleCare service would provide support for these applications.

The partnership is about "transforming enterprise," Apple CEO Tim Cook told CNBC in an exclusive interview. The partnership aims to "deliver on the promise of mobile in a big way," he said.

Read More Apple vs. Microsoft: The battle for the office heats up

One priority of the partnership will be one of the "biggest inhibitors" in enterprise, which is security, IBM CEO Virginia Rometty told CNBC. Security is increasingly important as cyberhacking and surveillance become more ubiquitous concerns.

The news could impact Blackberry, once the industry leader in enterprise mobile, which is aiming to right itself after years of declining profits and fleeing clients.

"Apple just took a sword and just stabbed it right in the heart of Blackberry and said 'you're done,'" said Ross Gerber, CEO of wealth management firm Gerber Kawasaki, in a "Closing Bell" interview.

The partnership is also sure to put more pressure on Microsoft, which is making its own push into cloud and mobile services for enterprise clients.

That software giant is at the first stage of what CEO Satya Nadella recently said will be a transformation away from selling software. The company also launched a version of its office software for Apple's iPad earlier in the year.

Read MoreIBM, Apple up after deal; BlackBerry down

By CNBC.com's Matt Hunter