Apple CEO Steve Jobs might launch bid for Disney

“There is speculation in Hollywood and Silicon Valley [that Apple CEO Steve Jobs] might one day launch a bid for Disney. The idea is not as outlandish as it might seem. Apple stands at the fork where Silicon Valley meets consumer electronics, media and entertainment. The company has a reputation for trailblazing innovation, but the key to its success has more to do with marketing and industrial design than technical innovation,” Keith Woolcock writes for The Telegraph. “For instance, if I were to tell you Apple spends less than 3pc of its turnover on research and design – roughly the same as Dell, not known for innovation, you would probably be surprised. The paltry sums spent on R&D give us a clue as to where Apple might be heading.”

“The miracle of digital electronics is the pace of innovation quickens and prices collapse. Jobs knows this and will understand that while Apple might be riding high its long-term future needs something more. He is facing the same dilemma that consumer electronics companies like Philips and Sony faced decades ago. You might start off making high returns from sexy gadgets and music systems, but eventually competition will drive prices down. As Apple’s low R&D spend highlights, there is very little rocket science behind what the company does,” Woolcock writes. “The classic way for consumer electronics companies to handle the wafer thin returns that hardware earns is to either sell consumables, such as tapes, ink cartridges and film, or go into content. Sony, for instance, owns a huge film and music catalogue. Philips used to own Polydor, the music company. Just as digital electronics has revolutionised consumer electronics, it is now reshaping the content industry.”

“Music, films and television programmes are being stored on memory disks and silicon chips. Apple has taken a giant step towards content by launching its iStore music service, which only last week announced that it had downloaded a billionth song from its library. Music continues to be at the centre of Apple’s drive into our living rooms. On Tuesday the company launched a Hi Fi system that looks as though it were crafted by a higher order intelligence and delivered to earth on a sleek space ship,” Woolcock writes. “Last year’s launch of the video iPod suggests Apple might see its future in the movies. Jobs’s seat on Disney’s main board puts him in a great position to plan such a move. Whether he buys Disney or not, I bet film and video soon get main billing at Apple. What was that line from Toy Story: To infinity and beyond. It might just be.”

Full article here.

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Related articles:
Stock futures up on speculation that Apple will snap up Disney – February 27, 2006
Barron’s: Apple Computer could buyout Disney – February 25, 2006

29 Comments

  1. that would be the worst idea for apple as a computer company and probably worse still for a ‘media / media distribution’ company, dumb dumb dumb, but we all know this is speculation and would never happen even if it could which it probably couldnt and im gonna shut up now bye

  2. He would own — just to name a few — Disney, ESPN and ABC. Holy Crapolie!

    As long as he keeps Apple a separate company and continues to push great products to market, I have no problem. American capitalism at its best. Please say you will also buy the SF 49ers and bring them back to glory, Steve!!!

  3. Not going to happend. The very idea would kill distribution deals with the remaining major content holders out there. Apple needs to be independent when it enters negociations with other labels

  4. Not a very enlightening article. For one thing, Steve would not be buying anything, it would be Apple, which Jobs does not own. As wealthy as he is the idea of him personally purchasing a conglomerate the size of Disney is ridiculous.

  5. “……Please say you will also buy the SF 49ers and bring them back to glory, Steve!!!…….”

    To that, I would add …
    and maybe …. hire Eddie D to run the show !! ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”LOL” style=”border:0;” />

  6. is the new Disney Buys Apple.

    That didn’t happen. This won’t either.

    And Apple DOES spend more on R&D than Dell, as many articles have noted.

    Does Dell make an OS?!? Does Dell make dozens of huge software apps?!? Does Dell innovate with hardware designs like Apple?!?

  7. apple spends almost 3x the money on R&D – with a lot less revenues… and the crack about technical innovation? apparently this clod (like many people) doesn’t concider the software technology of the iApps and Mac OS X to be on par with Intel’s chip making.. which is silly.

  8. I might also someday launch a bid for Disney. Insha’allah as they say where I’m living now. I will never stop using Macs but I just can’t believe that such speculation is written in such a regular basis. It’s time to tell prognosticators to stop such artlicles. It does nothing but make the Mac community look really silly.

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