Analyst: Sony and Apple marriage ‘would make no sense’

“Shares of Apple Computer Inc. rose 6 percent Friday to their highest price in more than three years on the heaviest volume in nine months, adding to gains already posted this year amid the success of the company’s iPod and iPod mini digital music players,” Duncan Martell reports for Reuters.

“The stock also rose amid persistent takeover speculation, with the purported suitor this time being consumer electronics giant Sony Corp, analysts said. Since at least the mid-1990s, Apple has been posited as a takeover target, with suggested bidders ranging from Sony to Sun Microsystems Inc.,” Martell reports. “‘The word of mouth on this product is very strong,’ said Tim Bajarin, an analyst at Creative Strategies, who noted that he has so far spoken to 10 Apple dealers so far about the reaction to the iPod mini. ‘Customers are literally coming in (to the store) and they know exactly what color they want. Steve really understands what the pulse of the consumer market is, and he’s got a strategy to go after that with an Apple brand,’ Bajarin said, noting that that’s precisely why a Sony bid for Apple would make no sense. To me, that’s the last thing he’d want to do is get mixed up with Sony,’ Bajarin said. ‘They are (Sony and Apple) just diametrically opposed to how they would run the business.'”

Full article here.


  1. “They are (Sony and Apple) just diametrically opposed to how they would run the business.”

    Precisely correct!

    Jobs has stated many times in the past year that he is happy with their niche; the BMW of computers.

  2. To tell you the truth, I have been expecting a takeover attempt by some large corporation for some time. Apple has been too braggadocious about its lack of debt and cash reserves, plus all those hot products, and its stock price is just too low for how well the company has been doing (the price was around $130 four years ago).

    But, truth be told, if ANY PC-maker were to take over Apple, if it HAD to happen, I would prefer Sony. My experience with Sony VAIOs is that they build higher quality (and more expensive) equipment than most PC makers. They have a history of creative multi-media products (created the Walkman which spurred an audio revolution about 20 years ago, and then had the first portable CD player 19 years ago– I worked at Best Buy then). Face it folks– they are an attractive target, and Sony is the company with the closest thing to a history of being “insanely great.”

    Let me be clear for the idiotos who don’t read carefully– I hope Apple fends off any and all takeover attempts, but if they have to succumb, Sony would be the best, IMHO. I am open to other opinions, however.

    Sony would be likely to enjoy being able to break from the Microsloth stranglehold by investing heavily in expanding the Mac line while maintaining their PC models. A Gateway or Dell would only buy Apple to strip its resources and let it die a slow agonizing death. An SGI would not know how to maintain the “insanely great” “think different.”

    Whatever happens, it’s good to imagine the possibilities.


  3. Do you see sony buying huge amounts of stock in apple? Nope. so, don’t worry about a take over. Apple has no debt. Nothing for sony to assume. SOny has a snowballs chance in heck of taking over apple. No leverage.

    A finicially sound company with no debt and huge bank account is not a take over target.

  4. “Jobs has stated many times in the past year that he is happy with their niche; the BMW of computers.”

    That is true. However, there are a lot of really crappy consumer electronics being made out there: Aiwa, Sanyo, Panasonic, and the always-popular “Brand X” for instance. My apologies (and pity) to anyone out there who owns one of these.

    Most of my “home entertainment center” is Sony, and I have never had a problem with any of the components. Yes, they’re a little more expensive. But they are high-quality and (IMHO) worth it. Not BMW, but not Ford, either. Maybe Saab or Volvo?

    Of course, Apple won’t be Apple any more if Jobs stops running it, and Jobs won’t continue running Apple if Sony takes over Apple (unless they cut a REALLY lucrative deal between Pixar and Columbia in the bargain??). However, if a company were to take Apple over, Sony’s at or near the top of my list of companies that I would dislike the least (although as a stockholder, I would still vote against it).

  5. In Japan I have heard several people mention that Sony’s reputation is that their equipment is prone to break.

    I definately want Apple to remain independent and hope it continues to do so.

    That said, I do agree that Sony might be better than Gateway or Dell but I think we all know that is not going to happen. Microsoft has the cash and I don’t know they ins and outs of hostile takeover but I don’t think they could either if Apple is not open to the idea. Plus why would they, then they would have anybody to copy. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

  6. Think about this – if Jobs DID take the helm at Disney and merge Pixar (and iTunes?) into it, he might realisically decide he has not enough time to dedicate to Apple. He could then try to find ‘a pair of safe hands’ to leave Apple with – ie an established electronics company who understand the ‘quality’ market and who have a similarly strong commitment to innovation.

  7. I have to say that whoever took over Apple I have doubts that the computer division would have much of a future. Fact is its the iPod its name and Apples name now indeed in consumer electronic products and the potential to expand all this into other specific products and market segments that would fuel this. At least Sony makes pc’s that have a touch of the class of Apple but 1) Their market share is tiny and struggling despite that fact.
    2) they would not want to waste money trying to keep two minority computer businesses going and
    3) the press and so called experts would be so convinced that the Mac platform would be discontinued that it would be in danger of grinding to a halt of its own accord with lack a total lack of consumer confidence.

    At best they would move some of Apples technology into its own products and hope to keep Apple customers on board and to increase market share further by being ‘PC’ and ‘different’ as HP is now attempting to do by using Apple to achieve similar goals in a market that is otherwise pure clone.

    If Apple stays independent of course, and assuming that the iPod and further products become the major money earner and identity of the company, and this succes story continues to expand how long will it be before pressure is on for Apple to cut the computer side anyway- not too many years I suspect. To avoid that the latter needs to expand and take on some of the iPod’s success and flexibility if long term it is to thrive in a changing company I reckon.

  8. Sony will not buy Apple. The two companies do not share R&D. (Where the hell did THAT come from?) Jobs will not take the helm of Disney. This you can be certain.

  9. Sony is just about the only PC maker making quality, reasonably well designed machines. I’ve had a Vaio for a couple of years and have had absolutely zero problems with it, and the newer Vaio’s are good looking machines.

    That said, Sony has been getting pounded for years for being unable to come up with new products.

    They would be a *terrible* company to buy Apple–suffocating layers of brain dead management back in Japan killing product development. If Sony had owned Apple the iPod would still be in testing.

  10. I agree with Jack. Sony does have a reputation for making low-quality equipment, meaning equipment that breaks down easily. I lived in Japan for two years, and everything (without exception), ceased to work properly either right before or right after the warranty period ended. After sending the equipment off for repairs, I never had a problem with it again. My guess is that that they have about the worst quality control on the planet for a well-known company next to Black & Decker.

    The only two things I’ve ever bought from Sony that didn’t break down are a Trinitron TV that my brother put an easement on and two original Playstations. I am now unofficially boycotting Sony products because of their lack of quality control.

    Sure, Sony makes beautiful PDAs, computers, and other consumer electronic devices. They often showcase new technologies as well. However, they are no Apple. Apple’s beauty is more than skin deep. They truly engineer outstanding products.

    I don’t think Sony and Apple will merge. Sony’s CEO will keep talking to Apple’s CEO about technologies, but they will remain forever on different sides of the fence.

  11. re: the BMW analogy. Last week I was loading up supplies at Lowe’s when I realized that my Mac is not a BMW. Some guy was sitting there putting 8 foot 2×4’s in the trunk of his beamer and then going in for insulation. Give me a break. My Ford can take 6 people comfortably, along with 1700 pounds of cement blocks and cement mix and not even feel the effects. Yes, I’ve done it. It’s a 10 year old work horse that still makes people drool. My Mac isn’t 10 years old yet, but with a “standard engine”, just like my truck, it’s a great workhorse that beats any windoze computer in my office, including those that are newer than my Mac. Maybe the beamer analogy worked when there was a significant price difference, but it just doesn’t cut it anymore.

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