Here’s a Ridiculous Idea-Split Apple in Two

Tim Bajarin / August 29th, 2011

I saw a story earlier today that said that some on Wall Street have suggested that Apple should split their business in two- A Mac business and the more profitable iOS business.

I normally don’t criticize my brethren on Wall Street but I have to say that this is a very dumb idea and shows that some of them still don’t get Apple. Apple is growing because they have created a growth engine around their total ecosystem of hardware, software and services. And the devices, whether it is the Mac, iPod, iPhone or iPad, are elegant screens that are designed to tap into the rich set of apps and services and soon to be cloud synchronization that ties them all together.

Now, I kind of get their original thought, which is that the iOS business should stand on its own and the Mac business should not be allowed to impact the higher growth to their total bottom line. I am sure some are thinking about HP’s move to sell or spin out their PC business as their example. But this misses the beauty of Apple’s ecosystem and integrated device strategy. Yes, the PC market as we know it is not growing much anymore, but PC’s are not going away. Indeed, they will still be the workhorses in business, education and even in the home where they will be needed to do what I call heavy lifting tasks such as managing your music and video collection, handling personal finances and using it for long form documents and email, etc.

And in the Mac’s case, there is a huge audience for its rich OS, especially in graphics and marketing departments, Hollywood and for certain engineering tasks. More importantly, I believe that Apple still has some mind blowing products in both desktop and laptops in their bag of tricks-products that will drive even more users to the Mac platform. And if that is not enough, keep in mind that the Mac taps into all of Apple’s compete ecosystems of software and services. Once people really understand how iCloud works with the Macs and iOS based devices, they will see the folly of the suggestion of splitting Apple in two.

This is also why I believe they will not merge the Mac OS And iOS together anytime soon. Apple is very proud of the Mac OS and will continue to make it more powerful for those who need it. At the same time, iOS will become more powerful as well, but for use in the more consumer oriented devices in their line. iCloud will be the way they are all tied together in the end.

So Wall Street, get this idea out of your head. Apple won’t split the company in two and never will. They really do know what they are doing and how their entire line of hardware, software and services will work together under a single Apple company.

They have made a lot of money for their stockholders and will continue to do so with this integrated approach to making all of their products easy to use and work together as part of Apple, Inc.

Tim Bajarin

Tim Bajarin is the President of Creative Strategies, Inc. He is recognized as one of the leading industry consultants, analysts and futurists covering the field of personal computers and consumer technology. Mr. Bajarin has been with Creative Strategies since 1981 and has served as a consultant to most of the leading hardware and software vendors in the industry including IBM, Apple, Xerox, Compaq, Dell, AT&T, Microsoft, Polaroid, Lotus, Epson, Toshiba and numerous others.
  • Anonymous

    I listen to a given Wall Street analyst until they say “growth”, then I tune them out.

  • Anonymous

    I’d also point out the obvious: iOS & OS X are the same beast.

    Go to Apple’s Developer Conference and you talk to the same Apple engineers about the various operating system technologies. Core Animation is Core Animation, whether it’s running on OS X or iOS. OpenGL on OS X, OpenGL ES (a stripped down OpenGL) on iOS.

    Splitting the two removes an enormous amount of synergy. What’s currently “too slow” for an iOS device is just fine on a OS X device. When iOS devices get faster, you can move it over. Look at Grand Central Dispatch as an example.

    Yes, UIKit and AppKit are different–as they should be. But separating the two groups would hurt both.

    I assume their next theory would be that Apple should license OS X to everybody…

  • Atlantan

    Actually, Wall Street understands Apple very well. It just doesn’t make any money off of Apple. Wall Street wants to plant the seed and create shareholder pressure for a spinoff so it can collect fees on the spinoff.

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