Down But Not Out

Don't Break Up Apple - Build It Up

Dirk Pilat - 2003.05.15

This past Tuesday, Slashdot featured an article, Apple Considering a Break-Up?, by a chap called Joshua Jaffe on that discusses the benefit of a breakup of Apple into independent hardware and software companies, as shareholders are apparently grumpy about the constant loss in market share.

Apparently Apple's software division would immediately soar to immense heights on the strengths of a Windows-ported OS X and their productivity software, while the hardware division would be able to flog off i386 compatible computers running Windows.

Somehow I cannot see Steve Jobs ever let his biggest competitor run his operating system on "Apple" branded machines (apart from Virtual PC as a middle man). What would be the use?

If you want a Wintel/AMD machine fitting in with your interior design (like a Mac), you're already able to build your own machine with the case of your choice to match your sofa; you don't need a Mac for that anymore.

Similarly, why would Apple want to sell OS X for AMD/Intel machines? With the current perceived speed difference, they would probably not sell one of their PowerPC machines anymore, leaving that architecture to die a slow death.

As Jaffe obviously sees benefit in the breakup of Apple, he certainly doesn't like the prospect of Jobs turning the company into a multimedia empire, with the acquisition of Universal and the inclusion of Pixar in the brand.

But, really, why not? Jobs certainly would be able to learn from the mistakes from the AOL/Warner/Turner disaster. There would be no ailing ISP to write off, no CNN to get into line. All you would have would be one of the most prestigious brands globally reaping the benefits of including Universal's back catalogue and present artists into the iTunes Music Store and one of the most creative film studios ever being rebranded.

I am sure that a Disney/Apple movie would increase exposure to the same brand's hardware, and just think about the possible merchandising deals (the Pixar Lamp looks like an iMac anyway).

Am I wrong ? Let me know! LEM

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