Imagine, for a moment, a world where Apple was not the sole manufacturer of Mac-compatible products. Such a thing could have never been in the plans of Steve Jobs during his reign at the company, right? Journalist Nobuyuki Hayashi reveals otherwise in a new piece detailing Jobs’ friendship with Sony executives.
According to Sony ex-president Kunitake Ando, who was interviewed for the piece, a Mac compatible VAIO laptop almost became a reality in 2001. Jobs, unwilling to water down the Mac brand with third-party manufacturing partners, was ready to make a concession for his pals at Sony, even presenting them with a working VAIO running OS X. The plan was eventually scrapped, but not by Apple.
It was Sony’s VAIO engineers that opted to move on from OS X. They had just dedicated a large amount of time to optimizing the computer’s hardware for Microsoft’s Windows platform and did not see the value in preparing a Mac-compatible build. There simply were not enough resources.
In some alternative history the Sony VAIO launched with OS X, and the course of Apple and Sony changed forever. In our reality, Apple went on to solidify its position as the sole developer and manufacturer of Mac software and hardware, building a brand identity that eventually allowed them to launch the iPhone and iPad, establishing the company as one of the biggest tech giants in the world.
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