IBM Japan, in partnership is Apple, has announced the localization of MobileFirst for iOS apps for the Japanese market.
The Apple + IBM partnership was created to bring world-class app design and development to enterprise, and make iPhone and iPad deployment as deep as it was wide. A large part of that is going to be international, and it's beginning with seven apps localized for Japan: Advise & Grow (Banking and Financial Markets), Trusted Advice (Banking and Financial Markets), Retention (Insurance), Case Advice (Government), Sales Assist (Retail), Pick & Pack (Retail) and Expert Tech (Telecommunications).
Apple and IBM released the initial wave of MobileFirst apps in the U.S. back in December. Having worked in international enterprise for years, I'm used to apps that had all the polish and usability of long-sunken battleships. These are not those. These meld Apple-level design with IBM's vertical expertise, and now they're doing it not only for the English speaking enterprise, but for Japan as well. Hopefully more will follow.
After years of purchases based on checklist and interfaces as afterthought, it'll be interesting to see if MobileFirst can do for software what BYOD did for phones and tablets — make the experience matter. And not just across companies, but across continents.
You can find out more on Apple Japan's mobile enterprise page.