Apple Mac clone partner Umax has publicly declared its interest in mounting a takeover bid for the struggling vendor, possibly in partnership with Motorola.
Umax Data Systems of Taiwan has long been rumoured to want a stake in Apple, but to date has taken no action. Following last week?s sacking of Apple chief executive Gil Amelio, however, Umax bosses have gone public on their intentions to approach Apple.
Phil Pompa, vice president of the company?s Fremont, California, subsidiary Umax Computer Corporation, said the move was being driven by its parent?s chief executive Frank Huang. ?I know that he has considered it, talked about it and has been willing to talk to Apple about it,? he confirmed.
Umax Computer is one of the top three Macintosh clone manufacturers, with an annual turnover of $2.7 billion. As such it has a considerable vested interest in wanting to see the Macintosh platform remain viable.
?Folks have asked whether we?d be financially capable and interested in buying Apple,? said Pompa. ?The answer to both questions is yes.?
Observers suggested that, despite its financial strength, Umax would not launch a solo takeover bid, but would partner with fellow Mac clone maker Motorola to make an offer that shareholders could not resist.
The news comes as Apple prepares to revamp its licensing strategy in a bid to boost revenues by charging clone manufacturers more to use the Mac OS. Cloners will receive discounts if they agree to chase markets in which Apple does not directly compete. The new arrangements will take effect with the imminent release of Mac OS 8.
Apple still refuses to comment on whether Steve Jobs was responsible for selling 1.5 million Apple shares shortly before Amelio was sacked last week or who bought them. Details will be disclosed to the Securities & Exchange Commission.
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