Valentine’s Day came early this year for tech companies. Google married Motorola, Microsoft merged with Skype, and AT&T remains betrothed to T-Mobile, despite many objections.
Unfortunately, a number of sexy singles, such as HP’s Personal Systems Group and Research In Motion, are still looking for the right suitor. That's where this matchmaker comes in. Here are the pairings I'd love to see.
Dell and RIM
Dell, meet RIM. RIM, this is Dell. I know that RIM is from the wilds of Canada and Dell, you’re a red-blooded Texan, but even though you disagree on issues such as the death penalty, socialized medicine, and Celine Dion, deep down you two have a lot in common.
You both have an interest in smartphones and you both like catering to businesses large and small. Unfortunately, Dell’s handsets have never really caught on and RIM’s BlackBerry phones, though still popular with the enterprise, look like acid wash jeans in the era of jeggings.
Combine Dell’s penchant for adopting new technologies quickly and cheaply with BlackBerry’s strong carrier/enterprise relationships and the two of you will both be whispering “you complete me” to each other by Q1.
Acer and HP / webOS
Acer, this is HP Personal Systems Group. HP’s husband of 45 years recently announced he was planning to leave her in order to spend more time alone with his “software.” But his loss can be your gain, because this hot cougar still has her looks and the moves to back them up.
With her business-friendly Elitebook and ProBook lines, HP really knows how to please a CEO. And can she give good phone? She did much better than you on our tech support showdown! HP looks better than vendors half her age, with some really attractive lines, including the soft-touch HP Pavilion dm series. Her high-end notebooks can even do gaming and active-shutter 3D. With her on your arm, young cub, you’ll be the Envy of all the other tech companies in Taiwan.
HP, I know you’re worried because Acer is a much younger partner than you’re used to and there’s a language barrier. But Acer shares your interest in dominating the PC market and could teach you a thing or two about how to make inexpensive, compelling tablets and phones. After he sweeps you off your feet, he can even take in your child, webOS, and find a place for her on some handsets or slates--even if its just a superskin on top of Android. I promise Acer won’t treat you like just another eMachines.
ASUS and HTC
ASUS, HTC –you don’t know it yet, but you two crazy kids are a match made in Taiwan. ASUS here has been making motherboards, PCs, super-cool notebooks, and even TV sets since the 1990s, while HTC is queen of the phone prom.
Sure, ASUS has tried his hand at handsets, but not many people outside of Asia have ever used them. Meanwhile, HTC makes some of the world’s greatest phones, including groundbreaking devices such as the Thunderbolt and myTouch 4G Slide, but her tablets have fallen flat and she doesn’t know a thing about PCs.
With her gorgeous Sense skin, HTC has quite the interface. Add that software to an Eee Pad Slider, and you two could make beautiful widgets together. HTC, with your experience building QWERTY sliders, you can even teach ASUS how to build keyboards that don’t flex.
Netflix and Hulu
Netflix, Hulu, you two were made for one another if only you’d stop competing and tell each other how you really feel. You both love streaming, but Hulu has all the new shows while Netflix, you’ve got a better selection of movies.
Forget Bennifer, Brangelina, and Tomkat, the hot new celebrity couple this fall should be Nethulu. With your combined god-like power to provide media on demand, no one will be able to resist your call (or your price hikes). And now that Netflix has spun off its DVD business, this would be a pure streaming play for consumers and investors.
Best Buy and T-Mobile
Don’t worry, Best Buy. Just because T-Mobile is engaged to AT&T doesn’t mean this foxy Fräulein is unavailable. Considering the government’s antitrust suit, scrutiny from the FCC, and plenty of public disapproval, you can be T-Mobile’s knight in blue and yellow armor and save her from an unhappy marriage to the mobile equivalent of Prince Valium.
Now I know, Mr. Buy, that you’ve been playing the field, selling devices from all four major carriers at your stores, but just imagine what you’d get if you and T-Mobile were exclusive life partners. You’d be able to dictate the size and shape of her devices and reap all the profit from her contracts, a regular revenue stream rather than just a series of one-night commissions.
With your dominance of retail and T-Mobile’s value-oriented network, the two of you could build quite the big box together.
Samsung and Viliv
It’s a love story straight out of Hollywood, but taking place in Korea. Samsung, you’re the Richard Gere of Korean business, a powerful player with lots of balls in the air, whose only weakness is that he’s afraid to love. Viliv, you’re the Pretty Woman of UMPCs, a beautiful girl from the streets with a great heart but no money. You two belong together!
Yes, Samsung I know you have lots of industry-leading phones and tablets, but you’re engaged in a painful lawsuit with Apple, because the Mac-maker claims your devices look too much like its iPhone and iPad.
Viliv may be out of business, but she’s got gorgeous gadgets like the Viliv X70 tablet that has a touchpad in its bezel or, my personal favorite, the Viliv N5 which gives you a full clamshell PC in the palm of your hand. No court could confuse these delicious designs with anything coming out of Cupertino. That’s a happy ending in any language!