First, as I commented recently on one of the KenRadio.com daily newscasts, I am unconvinced that Apple and Cisco won't in the end be working together.
Here's three reasons why...and it starts with the concept of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend."
1. Apple is the enemy to Microsoft and Microsoft and Cisco are not friends.
2. Cisco's biggest partner is IBM and IBM and Microsoft are really not friends.
3. Microsoft's biggest partner is HP and HP is not Cisco's friend.
Those are very good reasons why it would pay both Apple and Cisco to be working together.
From the Apple perspective it makes even more sense.
1. Anyone building a PC is their enemy.
2. Apple wants to get into the business and enterprise market and no one has better access in that channel than Cisco via IBM.
3. The world is moving away from text to visual and Cisco's Telepresence and Apple's UI are naturals. Apple was the first with built in webcams. iChat is standard on every Mac, and webcams are going out on every new Mac laptop and iMac which makes it the entry point for Telepresence use in the future.
So beyond those reasons, why do I feel that Apple and Cisco make perfect bedfellows?
First, becuase the Internet is where Cisco lives and Internet phone call technology is something Cisco has been touting for some time with Call Manager while also buying up the kind of core assets, patents and technologies (Sipura, Dynamicsoft) that make what they have (distribution, hardware manufacturing, software development) better. Those purchases (Cisco buys, they don't invest) are not bought for immediate return, but for the kind of return that puts money in their pockets over time as more packets get placed on the Internet pipes which as demand for capacity increases in turn drives the sale of more and bigger Cisco hardware.
Second, Voice and video content are the two biggest forms media out there that already is transmitted over some kind of pipe, IP or Analog. For Cisco, the more of that traffic that moves to IP the better, which also explains why they made a strategic acquisition last week of Five Across. They want to fuel the enterprise pipe with more and more fatter pipe content.
In technology, Apple is clearly the best at creating an easy to use consumer experience. Cisco, via Linksys, has hundreds of thousands of feet of retail space that is geared for getting people online in more places through the sales of wireless routers, media extenders, WiFi cards, access points, etc.
For the two companies, finding a way to make peace is far more logical than having them war.