Apple to Split into Apple Computer & Apple Electronics

by James R. Stoup Mar 24, 2006

Remember back when the US government tried to split Microsoft apart? They wanted the company to be divided (at the very least) into two separate entities. One that produced an operating system and another that produced applications that would run on that OS. Unfortunately for all that didn’t happen, but for a while there it didn’t look good for Gates & company. Ultimately the government caved and the public never got to experience the software that such a breakup could have effected.

Fast forward to the here and now. I am about to propose that a major player in the computer market split apart, and amazingly enough, it isn’t Microsoft, it is Apple. Yes, Apple computer, maker of the Mac, the iPod and other such wonderful products. Apple, who is currently riding high atop record setting sales. Apple, innovator supreme. Yes, that Apple. It needs to be broken up, and sooner rather than later.

Now, I don’t think it should be split apart along a hardware/software line. That wouldn’t do anyone any good. And this split has nothing to do with licensing OS X or authorizing clones to be built. Rather this split should separate Apple’s computer business from it’s consumer electronic business.

Note: I didn’t say Apple’s iPod business or its media business, because those two things are just pieces of a bigger picture. Do you know what Apple actually sells? I mean, what they really and truly sell? It isn’t computers. It isn’t software. And it most certainly isn’t MP3 players. No, those are just the components most people notice first. What they really sell is an experience. They package up the whole deal and from start to finish they are there, and they make sure everything goes smoothly.

Welcome to the new digital age. This is the time when features aren’t as important as usability. This simple truth has been proven by the iPod’s continuing dominance in its field. Steve Jobs knows this. He also knows that the key to Apple’s success in the future is to ride this trend as far as it will go. And to do that he is going to have to concentrate all his energy on one of two projects, Apple’s computers or Apple’s electronics. My bet is that he will choose the latter.

I think that in the next two years Jobs will put Jonathan Ive in charge of Apple’s computer business so that he can focus his energies on turning Apple Electronics into the premier personal electronics supplier. The iPod is just the tip of the spear. Imagine Jobs churning out every device needed to truly connect the digital home. Apple Electronics can be what Sony should have been had they remained innovative. Give it time and Jobs will allow you to buy any type of media you desire and use it on a custom Apple device, elegantly designed, expertly made and wildly popular.

Give it time and you will see, Apple is destined to become two companies.


  • Well, you’re not going to find a govt more willing to cowtow to its corporate overloads than in the US (particularly right now), where we rewrite the copyright law every couple of years just so Mickey Mouse doesn’t lapse for Disney.

    Beeblebrox had this to say on Mar 27, 2006 Posts: 2220
  • Give us time.

    Benji had this to say on Mar 27, 2006 Posts: 927
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