As serious as Apple has always been about making all of its own hardware and software, it’s hard to believe that OS X almost wound up on Sony VAIO PCs. But it’s true, according to Japanese freelance writer Nobuyuki Hayashi.
It’s even harder to believe that the effort was spearheaded by Steve Jobs himself, but it was. In a recent blog post, Hayashi recounts a time when Jobs and other Apple executives met with Sony and pitched them the OS X VAIO…
“Japanese freelance writer Nobuyuki Hayashi, who has covered Apple for over two decades, quotes ex-Sony president Kunitake Ando recalling a 2001 meeting between he and Jobs in Hawaii. After playing a round of golf with other Sony executives, says Ando, “Steve Jobs and another Apple executive were waiting for us at the end of the golf course holding VAIO running Mac OS.” Jobs had shut down the Mac “clone” business years earlier but, according to Ando, admired Sony’s VAIO line so much he was “willing to make an exception.”
So if Jobs was in favor of the idea, why didn’t it ever come to fruition? Apparently it was just bad timing for Sony. VAIO laptop sales had just begun taking off, and the negotiations to make Mac-compatible models ultimately fizzled.
As crazy as this all sounds, it was well-documented that Jobs had a good relationship with Sony and its then-president Kunitake Ando. He admired many of Sony’s PC products, and was spotted at the company’s HQ multiple times.
This was also around the time that Apple was planning its jump from PowerPC chips to Intel, and it’s been rumored that software engineers working on OS X were told to buy top-of-the-line VAIO PCs to demonstrate the software.
Admittedly, this was a minor event in Apple’s history that ultimately amounted to nothing. But could you imagine if things would have gone differently? We’d for sure have Sony PCs running OS X, what about handsets running iOS?