This Story Posted:
July 29th, 1999


[8:30 AM]
Apple Inks Deal With AOL For Mac/Instant Message Compatibility
Apple and AOL have announced an agreement to help bring Mac users to greater compatibility with AOL's popular Instant Messenger product. According to Apple:

Apple and America Online today announced an agreement to create instant messaging products for Mac users that will allow seamless communication between Mac users and the AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) service. This collaboration will allow Mac users to exchange messages online in real-time with friends, family and colleagues, as well as with 40 million AIM users.

"AOL has built the biggest and best instant messaging service in the world," said Steve Jobs, Apple's interim CEO. "We're partnering with AOL to create instant messaging products that will further enhance the Internet experience for Macintosh customers."

Bob Pittman, President and Chief Operating Officer of America Online, said: "Our collaboration with Apple will allow Mac users to communicate instantly with the largest instant messaging service in the world. We are thrilled to add Apple to our growing list of AIM partners, and look forward to working with them to ensure the smooth and efficient integration of their customers into the global instant messaging community in a seamless and secure way."

In the past six months, the AIM service has more than doubled registrations to 25 million members as users continue to make it a key part of their interactive experience. Today, there are more than 40 million registered users of America Online's Buddy List and AIM services, who send more than 430 million messages a day.

There were no specific announcements concerning time frames for seeing some of these products hit the market.

The Mac Observer Spin: The battle for messaging products is a hot one as different companies try and compete for mindshare. AOL brought their Instant Message product outside of the AOL environment last year and it has since become very popular. Other products like ICQ have also grown in strength, but AOL seems to have the current lead.

This announcement is very important for Apple and shows that the company is concentrating on bringing popular products and services to the Mac. Having the Mac stand side-by-side with, or even above in some circumstances, the PC in the area of consumer products is key to continuing to grow Apple's marketshare.

Lastly, this deal, like the Samsung announcement, is probably stemming from Apple's large cash holdings. Like the announcement with Samsung, this deal with AOL probably includes some monetary resources from Apple heading to AOL in exchange for AOL's efforts.

In any event, we expect Wall Street to take this announcement, as well as the announcement with Samsung, in a very positive light. We will be watching the situation throughout the day.

Apple - AOL