Steve Jobs wanted Sony VAIO laptos to run OS X, according to Sony's former president Kunitake Ando. Ando revealed that in 2001, Jobs proposed a partnership between Sony and Apple.
Ando told Japanese journalist and long-time Apple fan, Noboyuki Hayashi, that Jobs even showed him a VAIO running OS X after the two executives finished up a round of golf in Hawaii. Although Jobs was aggressively targeting Mac clones at the time, he said that he would make an exception for Sony if the company would agree to work with Apple.
"Steve Jobs and another Apple executive were waiting for us at the end of the golf course holding VAIO running Mac OS," Ando recalls, but it just wasn't the right time. Sony's partnership with Microsoft was blooming at the time as Windows PC sales continued to rise.
Although the two executives were never able to work together on a project, Ando says that Jobs greatly influenced his thinking and many of the most important actions he took while he was president at Sony.
"Steve Jobs always had opinion on each of our products," Ando said. "When we launched PSP [PlayStation Protable], he complained, [asking] why we were still using discs. He [said] discs are so out-of-date." Sony proceeded to take his advice and took the discs out of the equation.
In another instance, Jobs suggested that Sony should add a GPS to its cameras. Ando claims that Jobs said that "if this thing had a built-in GPS, I [could] record everything that happens to my life." Soon after, Sony did incorporate a GPS into its cameras.
Although the friendship between the two executives may seem unlikely to die-hard Apple fans and Sony lovers alike, Ando explained that things were different then. The tech industry was much smaller and relationships between executives were much more open.
"Back in our time, the top executives always talked directly to each other. Sony executives had that in their culture. For example, when we have decided to launch a new PC products which later becomes VAIO, we called and visited Bill Gates (of Microsoft) , Andy Grove (of Intel) and Apple's headquarter in Cupertino and talked" said Ando.
Obviously, the partnership between Sony and Apple never happened, but it's a fascinating what-if scenario. Apple has always seemed to be an insular company, intent on having complete control over its design aesthetic and device functionality. If recent patent trials are any indication, Apple is certainly not of a mind to share its ideas or work with partners who might dilute the purity of Apple's product offering.