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Monday, November 05, 2007

Apple-Sun: Who needs a Marriage Anyway?

Apple and Sun at their core are engineering companies. When one looks at it, both Apple and Sun are complementary businesses, aren't they? The former though is leaning towards consumer electronics and the latter towards the enterprise with Apple having a limited presence in Enterprise and Server space and Sun's only presence in consumer space is Java.

Last year, John C. Dvorak wrote for Marketwatch:
"Over the years Apple and Sun have traded sales and marketing people and integrating the two companies would be less troublesome than most M&A's since the corporate cultures are not much different. Also the product lines are very complimentary with only low-end servers having any conflicts.

When I run this concept past industry types the only pushback I get is from one observer who points out that Apple has never shown any M&A chops and almost seems adverse to deals like this. That may have been true in the past only because the situation was never perfect enough to pull the trigger. There is no denying constant Silicon Valley rumors about Sun-Apple as well as Apple-3Com and other deals."

Since then, nothing has changed. The conditions are still ripe for a merger.

Apple could easily buy Sun. The merging of Apple and Sun has been in the fan-boy wish list since before the Second Coming of Steve Jobs. Dial back in time, it was Apple looking for a suitor back then. Fast forward, hard times are just about over at Sun with them making a comeback of their own and is on the road towards making life miserable for Linux with the launch of a new OpenSolaris developer preview and reasserting itself as an innovative technology company, so much so that several technologies like DTrace and ZFS have recently found their way into Apple's Mac OS X. An acquisition of Sun by Apple can ease the entry of Apple into the Enterprise (if they so choose, since Apple is focused more on the creative businesses), not to mention gaining all that software Sun has for use in consumer space. A marriage between these two companies is perfect.

What's stopping such a move? One doesn't need a merger to work together, just look at Apple-Google's alliance. Perhaps, Apple and Sun is best left to focus more on their core businesses. There is growth there. Who needs a marriage anyway? An Axis of Good between Apple-Google-Sun, wouldn't be too bad either, right?

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