General Electric has reached a partnership agreement with Apple to develop industrial apps for iOS devices – iPhone and iPad, according to a report on 9to5Mac.com.
The website says Apple has been “looking to the enterprise sector as a key market for growing iPad sales which have slipped in recent years”.
Apple and GE said they will deliver “powerful industrial apps designed to bring predictive data and analytics from Predix, GE’s industrial internet of things platform, to iPhone and iPad”.
GE’s IIoT platform, Predix, is claimed to be the first networking platform for industrial machinery when it was launched last year.
The giant conglomerate’s business unit, GE Digital, which is responsible for Predix, generates revenues of approximately $4 billion a year.
Also, recent management changes at the company suggest a greater emphasis on the software side of General Electric, which has a market capitalisation of more than $200 billion.
General Electric has historically been associated with large industrial activities, most famously manufacturing equipment for power plants and engines for planes.
But the company is now one of the world’s top 10 software companies by revenue.
Apple and GE unveiled a new Predix software development kit for iOS, which gives developers the tools to make their own industrial IoT apps.
“GE is an ideal partner with a rich history of innovation across the industrial world in areas like aviation, manufacturing, healthcare and energy,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO.
“Together, Apple and GE are fundamentally changing how the industrial world works by combining GE’s Predix platform with the power and simplicity of iPhone and iPad.”
“The partnership between Apple and GE is providing developers with the tools to make their own powerful industrial IoT apps,” said John Flannery, Chairman and CEO, GE.
“Our customers increasingly need to arm their workforces through mobility. Working together, GE and Apple are giving industrial companies access to powerful apps that help them tap into the predictive data and analytics of Predix right on their iPhone or iPad.”
The new Predix SDK for iOS will be available to download on October 26.
The SDK gives developers the ability to make powerful, native apps that take full advantage of the industrial analytics from Predix and tap into the power and ease of use of iOS, the world’s most advanced mobile operating system.
These apps will give industrial operators more insight and visibility into the performance of their equipment and operations right from their iPhone or iPad.
For example, a Predix app can notify a worker on their iPhone of a potential issue with equipment such as a wind turbine and allow them to collaborate with remote teams when performing inspections and repairs, collecting relevant data instantly.
These industrial apps will close the information loop faster, ultimately increasing cost savings and minimizing unplanned downtime.
In collaboration with Apple, GE is also developing apps for both internal use and its customers, giving workers powerful tools to enhance their jobs and help operations run more efficiently.
GE’s Asset Performance Management Cases app, which is available in the App Store, helps industrial businesses increase machine reliability and availability while reducing maintenance costs and managing operations risks.
Customers including Exelon are already putting APM to work and say they are seeing improved equipment uptime and overall productivity.
“Apple is known for setting the standard on hardware and simple software interfaces,” said Brian Hoff, director of corporate innovation at Exelon.
“When you combine this with the power of Predix and all of the data Exelon is aggregating and analyzing, the possibilities for game-changing solutions are endless.”
GE will standardize on iPhone and iPad for mobile devices and also promote Mac as a choice for its global workforce of more than 330,000 employees.
Apple will promote GE’s Predix as the industrial IoT analytics platform of choice to its customers and developers.