Bear Stearns analyst Andrew Neff has an unusual, to put it mildly, suggestion for Apple: abandon the PowerPC architecture and port Mac OS X over to Intel.
“It is time for consolidation and it is better for a company to make it happen than to wait for it to happen to the company,” Neff said. “From an investor standpoint, the PC industry will be an unattractive segment until we see concrete steps towards consolidation.
“Apple should play to its strength in industrial design and design the best computers for the Wintel market.”
But it’s not just Apple that he’s recommending make some startling moves. In his “manifesto,” as
by CNET, Neff also says that:
Dell should buy IBM’s PC business and Gateway to increase share, its presence abroad and strengthen its consumer operations. If it doesn’t get IBM’s PC business, it should look for acquisitions in Europe and Asia that fit its direct model.
IBM needs to unload its PC business to either Dell or Compaq and get a services deal.
Hewlett-Packard should buy Compaq, parlaying its profitable printer business and strong brand name into a leadership position in the sector.
Compaq should sell out to HP.
Gateway should retrench and sell out to either Dell or a major Japanese player such as NEC, Toshiba or Hitachi.
Needless to say, his recommendations are controversial. For instance, Needham & Co. analyst Charles Wolf told CNET that the report was the “height of stupidity” and an overreaction tainted by the current woes of PC stocks.