Apple is partnering with Unisys to increase its reach into business and government customers.
Bloomberg on Tuesday reported that Apple has signed a deal with Unisys under which Unisys will provide maintenance and other services to business and government purchasers of Apple devices.
While the bulk of Apple's customer base is made up of consumers who purchase such devices as the iPhone and iPad, businesses are increasingly having to deal with those devices in the workplace, either through corporate purchases or through individual employees bringing using their own smart devices for business purposes.
Apple has had a relatively small business customer base with its server and desktop computer product lines, but this is the first time the company has signed with a services provider for its iPhone and iPad devices, Bloomberg wrote.
Unisys declined to discuss its Apple relationship in detail. However, a company spokesperson said in a statement, "As a systems integrator, Unisys has many relationships with equipment providers. We can confirm that Unisys has an integrator relationship with Apple in the enterprise space and we look forward to working with them. . . . As this relationship is still in its early stages, we cannot provide further specifics at this time."
Unisys already supports Apple mobile devices with its ClearPath mainframe server line. The company in March said the latest release of its ClearPath software provides secure support for the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch, and that it plans support for additional mobile devices.
Unisys has a history of providing maintenance and other services on behalf of vendors, which is a large part of its business.
Unisys, once a major force in the mainframe business, has over the years become more focused on services. The company on Tuesday reported third quarter 2010 services revenue of $855 million, compared to only $105 million in technology revenue.
That represents a 10 percent drop in customer revenue in the company’s services segment compared to last year, of which 2 percent was attributed to divested businesses.
Unisys also said its services backlog at the end of the quarter was $5.8 billion, which was flat compared to last year.