One Apple, Sunny Side Up (11/5/02)

This one's going to be a quickie, because there really just isn't a whole lot to say about it (it stands proudly on its own merits), but at the same time it's way too cool not to point out: a faithful viewer who wishes to remain nameless stumbled across a FORTUNE newsletter which mentions that there's a rumor floating around in Silicon Valley that-- are you ready, Boots?-- Apple is about to be bought out by none other than Sun. The buzz, such as it is, is that Sun is looking to swallow Apple whole in order to acquire a desktop UNIX that people might actually use-- Mac OS X, natch.

Now, your first reaction might be that, given the company's recent stock performance (or lack thereof), a Sun buyout of anything more expensive than a dozen Krispy Kremes is a financial impossibility; in truth, though, while the company's stock is indeed hovering in the $3-per-share range, Sun probably could pull off an Apple purchase if it really wanted to. At broadcast time, Apple's market cap (as reported by Yahoo! Finance) was just over $6 billion, whereas Sun's was about $10 billion. So yeah, it probably could be done. The question is, does anyone actually want it to?

We can't help but flash back to the Dark Days of the mid-'90s, when a Sun buyout of Apple reportedly almost did happen, and the only thing that scotched the deal was that Sun felt Apple's asking price was way too high. But that was a distinctly pre-Jobsian transaction, and we just can't imagine Steve letting Apple become a department/wholly-owned subsidiary of Sun. Then again, he let Apple buy NeXT-- and not long after, most observers agree that NeXT wound up possessing Apple from within. Could Steve be planning a similar stealth takeover of Sun, wherein Apple gets bought out and within a matter of months Sun's Scott McNealy is supplanted by Steve himself? Ooooo, intrigue-y!

Of course, there's also the distinct possibility that they're doing some really interesting drugs in the Valley and this rumor's nothing more than somebody's freaky mind trip. But that's what makes this business special.

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The above scene was taken from the 11/5/02 episode:

November 5, 2002: The littlest AtAT staff member seems to think that imminent SuperDrive PowerBooks are still a distinct possibility. Meanwhile, Apple posts its Holiday Gift Guide, and rumors of rumors of an Apple buyout by Sun have surfaced once again...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 3819: Out Of The Mouths Of Babes (11/5/02)   Disaster-- pestilence has struck the AtAT compound! Well, okay, actually it's just a cheesy little cold. But given the extremely delicate production schedule dictated by our current circumstances, trust us when we tell you that even the mildest case of the sniffles can completely derail our chewing-gum-and-chicken-wire writing process...

  • 3820: Switcher Stocking Stuffer (11/5/02)   Hey, speaking of Santa (we did mention him, it's a valid segue!), you do realize that we're barrelling towards the thick of the holiday shopping season at enormous velocity, right? Oh, sure, some of you may think that early November is far too early to start worrying about Christmas shopping and the like, and believe us, speaking as people who have in the past done all their gift-buying at The Alley on Christmas Day, we can relate...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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