Steve Jobs, the brains behind Cupertino-based Apple Inc, had reportedly taken such a liking to rival Sony’s VAIO that he wanted the Japanese company’s laptops to run OS X.
The late Jobs apparently met with other Sony executives in Hawaii in 2001 to drum up a partnership, according to former Sony president Kunitake Ando in an interview with Japanese freelance writer Nobuyuki Hayashi.
“Steve Jobs and another Apple executive were waiting for us at the end of the golf course holding a VAIO running Mac OS,” Ando said.
Jobs was notoriously against having Mac OS on other systems and even shut down the Mac “clone” program, so the revelation came as surprise for many.
“When Steve Jobs regained the control of Apple back in 1997, one of the first things he did was to close all the Mac-compatible deals claiming [they were] destroying Mac’s eco-system,” Hayashi reports.
“Steve Jobs believed that Mac-compatible business would harm not only Apple’s business but also the ‘Mac’ brand,” he said.
But Jobs admired Sony’s VAIO line so much that he was “willing to make an exception.”
Jobs had a respect for Sony and he reportedly visited Sony frequently. The sentiment was reciprocated by the Japanese firm’s executive team.
“Ando liked Apple. He always felt Mac and VAIO were so close in philosophy. He especially admired the original iMac introduced in 1998,” Hayashi said.
The two companies would have probably made a good team but the timing for Steve Job’s pitch couldn’t have been worse.
“The timing was bad for Sony… Sony’s VAIO team had finished optimizing both VAIO’s hardware and software specifically for [the] Windows platform.”
By Maesie Bertumen
Image of Steve Jobs, 2007: acaben/Flickr