Apple has floated its Newton division as a separate company, following the departure of Gil Amelio?s right hand man Scalise earlier in the week. It will put money into the flotation but the unit has to stand and fall on its own, Apple has insisted.
But the newly floated company is not up for sale, a senior executive insisted today. Although the unit will be spun off as a separate company, Roy Bedlow, European marketing manager of the new division, said no offers were received from Sun before the decision was taken - despite Wall Street rumours - and that Apple was in no discussions to sell it off.
He said: ?One of the reasons for doing this is we have a different channel and Vars to Apple. This is fantastic news for us - we?ve all pushed for it. We are now an independent company and we need to be successful and make a profit in the first year.?
The chief executive of the company is still undecided but the chief operations officer will be Sandy Benett, a former vice president of the Newton Systems Group at Apple. Benett, at Apple for a couple of years, will be acting CEO.
Michael Gartenberg, a senior analyst at the Gartner Group in the US, thought the spin-off would give the Newton group a chance to shine. He said: "I'm sure Apple shopped around and now the logical thing is to spin it off at a separate company. Now these people can start pursuing Windows strategies. This is the opportunity for Newton to either sink or swim but there's every reason why they should be successful."
He said that Newton owned "a reasonable share of the worldwide market" in handheld units and that its technology was better than any of its competitors.
In a prepared statement, Gil Amelio practically admitted defeat. He said: ?Over the past year, we have seen the Newton Systems Group launch compelling products based on the Newton OS,? he said. ?The time is right to establish the group as a focused entity.?
Since Amelio started at Apple he has lost people but this is the first time he has lost a component of his company. Questions continue, according to an informed insider, whether Amelio has much longer to go before he has to follow his right hand man Scalise.
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