Teamwork has always been a successful way to get a job done. Case in point: Paul McCartney’s solo albums are all well and lovely on their own, but it was the collaborative efforts of four kids from Liverpool that first birthed a musical revolution. And while the technology industry has had its own fair share of notable collaborations (the most recent arguably being Microsoft and Yahoo’s much-debated Internet search partnership) we often find ourselves asking: What would happen if other leading trailblazers in the space (say, Dell and HP) could let bygones be bygones and tie the knot to the benefit of high-tech innovation worldwide? Tempted by the possibilities, we asked several of today’s leading tech experts which consumer electronics behemoths they themselves wish would get a clue, stop butting heads and join forces. For all you dreamers out there, here are the results:
If one company has proven it can take on the world all by itself, it would be the envied and admired Apple Inc. Sascha Segan, PC Magazine’s Lead Analyst for mobile devices, says Apple has always been a “Lone Ranger” of sorts—but instead of sharing the joy of the win with Tonto, Apple would probably send him into the back room to hide out while it collected the credit. Still, Macworld Editor Jason Snell thinks playing nice in certain instances makes sense, especially as a merger with TiVo would be ideal for both companies. Still, Snell claims there are two major setbacks preventing such a deal from happening: Steve Jobs doesn’t watch TV and Apple doesn’t play well with others. “Apple has so much success in digital media and selling music and TV shows—but, I swear, Steve Jobs just isn’t interested in anything live,” he laughs. That much was apparent when Apple released its digital-media receiver Apple TV in 2007 – the device didn’t sell well and to be honest, it still isn’t.
Nonetheless, Segan says that this hypothetical merger would be a phenomenon in entertainment. What’s more, both experts agree that the collaboration would be successful because both firms have something to gain. TiVo may be the only company that has something Apple wants, in that Apple has never attempted recording content from cable or satellite, and TiVo would be perfect to assist in that endeavor. “Apple could absorb TiVo’s great living room products and produce its own DVR,” suggests Segan. On the flip side, Apple has a great user interface that would be a major upgrade for TiVo’s system. But, as Segan says, Apple’s never been too sure what to do in the living room and has never been too keen on engaging in partnerships. “Apple is the sensitive artist of the tech world,” he says. “They’re brilliant over there, but they do seem to have a few personality complexes when it comes to partnering with others.”