Apple?s chief executive, Gil Amelio, said in a speech in Tokyo yesterday that he would cut overheads by $400 million this year. This came amid a flurry of speculation that Apple will be the subject of a takeover bid, possibly from its PowerPC partner IBM, which today said it continues to regard the Mac as "a viable business".
That coincided with news from the US that the other PowerPC partner, Motorola, will license the Be operating system today to power its Apple clones.
IBM is the major partner in the PowerPC consortium and unilaterally announced before Christmas that it would no longer support NT for PowerPC. IBM also took a share in Steve Job?s Next company, recently acquired by Apple, when it was founded seven years ago.
An IBM source said: ?We have the basic rights to the PowerPC chip. Nothing is ever as simple as it seems in this business but we continue to regard the Apple Mac market as a viable business.?
That renews speculation that Apple could be the subject of a takeover with IBM being the prime mover.
Amelio said in Tokyo that he wanted to streamline Apple?s business and rumours circulated today that his cuts could mean as much as 40 per cent of the workforce at the Cupertino-based company being axed. However, other rumours that Apple might file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection seemed entirely unfounded. Apple said there was not question of this and that the company has a substantial amount of cash in the bank.
The future of Motorola's PowerPC products also seems unsure. Sources close to Motorola said: ?We?re not 100 per cent sure what?s happening with the Apple Mac clone line. The only product really left is the Apple clone and it?s a stop-start situation.?
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