As Shares of TiVo Slump, Calls for an Apple Buyout Continue

Shares of TiVo are trading down more than 10 percent today after the company announced fourth-quarter results with a weak 2006 outlook at that disappointed some analysts. TiVois financial struggles have only further fueled commentary that Apple should buy the company, as Farhad Manjoo suggested in a story Friday.

Suggestions that Apple purchase TiVo began almost two years ago. More recently, TiVois questionable future has led analysts and pundits to revist the idea.

What makes people think Apple and TiVo would be such a perfect fit? According to Josh Bernoff, an analyst at Forrester Research, TiVo and Apple are everyoneis favorite tech brands, but more importantly, both companies have been able to understand consumeris desires and translate that information into widely popular products.

TiVo faces strong competition in its market, however, with everyone from Microsoft to cable and satellite companies vying for a piece of the personal digital video recorder market. What Bernoff believes TiVo needs "is a huge ecosystem of users and software developers willing to take a chance on its new features. But that wonit happen if TiVo looks like itis on the rocks. Thereis only one man who can save TiVo now, Bernoff and others say: Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs."

Apple and TiVo would create a one-two punch that would likely come closer to delivering the "perfect machine" than anyone to date has. Such a device would be used for everything from delivering media throughout a house to taking it with you on the go and more. Many companies see the "perfect machine" as an inevitable gold mine of the future as technology, the living room, the rest of the house, and an individualis life on the go become ever more fused.

Wall Street values TiVo -- taking into account todayis slump -- at a little over $300 million, making the company an easy picking for Apple and its rough $4.5 billion in cash. Apple never purchased such an established brand, however, and its unclear whether the company has any interest in furthering its ventures in the consumer electronics space beyond the iPod at this time.