What has changed is that while implementations so far have depended on an uneasy alliance between big data systems providers and device manufacturers, the Apple/IBM alliance brings the potential of such tools to the mass market, at least in terms of making a wide number of people aware of them.
Privacy plus the wisdom of crowds
The trouble with the tech-driven big data solutions we have seen so far is that consumers have not truly been given the option of trust. Think about a supermarket loyalty card. Do you get to decide what happens to the information it collects? Are you in control of your information?
But Apple's privacy commitment in tandem with the new IBM deal restores a little control to consumers, which should help foster acceptance of such solutions.
With these tools, Apple will be able to deliver the benefits of connected technologies to consumers while IBM delivers the benefits of data analysis to the enterprise. Both will make a lot of money, while device users get the privacy and service improvements they need.
This is why the Apple IBM deal is not just about selling iPhones. It's about creating an ecosystem that supports the Internet of Things. And that, as they say, will be another story.
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