by Frederic Filloux
…Apple could acquire General Electric, Samsung or Royal Dutch Shell. Or easily gulping the two largest market capitalizations of the French stock market, LVMH, and Total.
iPhone’s critical parts supply (screens, glass, CMOS sensor…) is Apple’s Achilles’ heel.
…For instance, by making its own ISP (Image Signal Processing), Apple kills two birds with one (expensive) stone: it tailors an essential chip to its software specifications and it guarantees an uninterrupted flow for its supply chain. This strategy might not work for image sensors that are more complicated to manufacture than an ISP or a DSP (the specialized chip for audio processing).
Acquiring Sony, Apple would also get its hands on Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. (SPE) properties, films and TV shows production and distribution. This includes scores of blockbusters (including Spiderman, whose four iterations grossed $1.4B!) and TV shows like Seinfeld. SPE is making about $8B a year in revenue.
PS4’s sales are twice that of Microsoft’s Xbox and four times Nintendo’s Wii.
Getting unrestricted access to the PlayStation ecosystem — millions of players, thousands of game creators — would allow iPhones and iPads to take full advantage of their computational and graphics capabilities.
Access to superior image sensors, a giant entertainment library and the PlayStation ecosystem… By any measure, Apple acquiring Sony makes a lot of sense.
by Jean-Louis Gassée
Unfortunately, there are (at least) two flaws with the “Unified Apple TV Set” theory.
…other Apple zombie delusion is that the Mac will finally jettison the x86 Intel line of processors; from here on out, it’s home-grown Ax CPUs. To be fair, this train of thought started when Phil Schiller, Senior VP of Apple Marketing, used the phrase “desktop-class performance” when referring to A9 and A9X processors. And now the latest iteration, the A11 “Bionic” (I can’t wait for next year’s markitecture invention), is reported to have outperformed MacBook Pro processors, although if you look closely, the use cases aren’t comparable.
But the biggest obstacle, here, isn’t silicon: It’s software. Yes, Apple controls its compilers and low-level virtual machines. It could try to make the switch from x86 to Ax as seamless as possible, but Mac app developers don’t have Apple’s financial and engineering resources. As the Mac App Store stands — even in today’s better curated implementation — they have enough trouble making money. A massive conversion to Ax processors would be too much trouble.
My thought: Apple will continue to develop Ax processors and software that’s aimed at fulfilling Tim Cook’s vision of iPads as the future of personal computing. Ax for very personal devices; x86 (at least for now) for Macs and OS X app developers.
The Apple zombie delusions never die. And new ones are sure to emerge as Apple’s product line becomes richer and stokes beguiling but unrealistic speculation.