Word on the street is that Sony is looking to sell its VAIO PC division and Lenovo could be one of the leading candidates as a buyer. This would add to Lenovo’s already growing portfolio, having acquired the ThinkPad business from IBM years ago and, more recently, picking up Motorola Mobility from Google. As it turns out, though, Sony already had another suitor more than ten years ago and his name was Steve Jobs.
We all know that Jobs didn’t want to license OS X to any other computer companies at the time, but he was reportedly willing to strike a deal with Sony in 2001 that may have resulted in an OS X-powered Sony VAIO laptop. In effect, we could have had a Sony VAIO MacBook. This comes by way of Kunitake Ando, former president of Sony, during an interview that he had with reporter Nobuyuki Hayashi. In fact, as Ando said, vacationing Sony execs in Hawaii were greeted on the golf course by Steve Jobs and another Apple executive… and they were holding a Vaio running Mac OS.
You could say, in effect, that they were holding an “official” Hackintosh.
But alas, the deal never happened and it wasn’t because of Apple. Instead, the Vaio OS X deal never bore fruit (terrible pun intended) because the Sony people felt that their laptops were already optimized for Windows and the VAIO line was doing quite well for itself. Of course, Apple and OS X have grown considerably in the last 13 years, but could have drastically changed the landscape for notebook PCs. Jobs said that he liked the design of the CyberShot cameras and other Sony products. In fact, part of the reason why Apple Stores opened in the first place is because Steve Jobs visited the SonyStyle stores and liked what they were doing.
I remember during those years, many people thought of the Sony VAIOs as the MacBooks of the PC world. Now, that makes a lot more sense.