GE, Apple team up as earnings report looms

October 19, 2017

Boston’s General Electric Co. is working with Apple Inc. on mobile applications that will help industrial operators track the performance of machinery, jet engines, factories and power plants from their iPhones and iPads.

The companies unveiled a new software development kit, available for download today, that allows software developers to make their own industrial Internet of Things apps. The tool will allow developers to more easily connect Apple’s iOS operating system to GE’s Predix, to tap predictive data and analytics from the cloud-based software.

The partnership is part of GE’s efforts to increase its software and service sales as part of its “digital industrial” evolution.

“Our customers increasingly need to arm their workforces through mobility,” GE CEO John Flannery said in a statement.

GE will make iPhones and iPads the standard mobile devices for its 330,000 employees and promote Mac desktop computers as a choice for them. Apple will help promote GE’s Predix software as its industrial IoT analytics platform of choice to its enterprise customers and developers.

The partnership was announced as GE is poised to report third-quarter earnings tomorrow — the first earnings announcement since Flannery became CEO in August and implemented a management shakeup. GE’s blue-chip stock has dipped to the worst performance on the Dow Jones industrial average this year.

Flannery has said he’ll consider all options to address problems ranging from weak cash flow to sluggish oil and power markets. GE this month elected a co-founder of activist investor Trian Fund Management to its board, and Flannery has said there are no “sacred cows” in his strategic review, results of which are due in November.

Herald wire services were used in this report.