Why did Apple purchase NeXT for $429M?

It took NeXT about 10 years to become profitable on $50M in revenues. This amounted to $1M in profits, for a 2% profit margin in '95. However, in '96, they were valued at $429M by Apple. It makes
absolutely no sense to me that this company is worth this much money. What was the logic in buying a company with $50M in REVENUES for $429M?
My working theory is that this purchasing price was viewed as being the amount to bring back Steve Jobs. Apple probably knew that they were spending too much money, but this is the amount that it would have costed to bring back Steve Jobs as CEO one day. This is my opinion of course.
---------------------------------------------------------------
1995
NeXT announce their financial results for 1994 on 21 February: $50 million in revenues; a net profit of $1 million.
NeXTSTEP 3.3 ships in February. NeXTSTEP 3.3 for Sparc ships in March.
NeXT acquire the Objective-C copyright from Stepstone in April.
NetInfo and Portable Distributed Objects 2.0 ship in April.
1996
NeXT announce Distributed OLE 3.5, EOF 1.1, and WebObjects on 30 January.
Apple buy NeXT for $429 million on 20 December.
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wrote:

Using the time value of money on a 10 year horizon I calculated this figure to be 449M
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2.7182818284590... wrote
\> It took NeXT about 10 years to become profitable on $50M in revenues.

They obviously believed that it would do a lot better than that in the future.
Thats what any investment is about, what it will do in the future.

Yes, that was clearly part of it. Apple was in some pretty deep shit at the time and it is clear that bringing Jobs back did fix that problem.
You can make the case that that was peanuts in the benefit they got from having Jobs back.

Thats never something anyone can calculate in that situation.
Or even caculate the value of Jobs return to Apple either.

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wrote:

Apple didn't have a viable operating system going forward. NeXT had a multi-user, multi-tasking operating system with an advanced GUI based on PostScript.
NeXT had a problem that it had abandoned hardware production and couldn't make a profit by pricing its OS at an affordable level.
-- Ron
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That is how I remember it.
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On 3/1/2012 9:11 PM, Ron Peterson wrote:

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avie_Tevanian
--
Jared

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Tevanian was probably a better acquisition for Apple than Jobs.
The Mach operating system made it possible to move between platforms and porting to Intel worked, but NeXT users lost the use of some third party software.
Objective C is more elegant than C++, but somehow hasn't attracted a following other than for Apple.
-- Ron
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Ron Peterson wrote:

Nope, it wasnt the OS that drove the ipod, ipad or iphone.
The iphone didnt even have multitasking until 4
Those were what saved Apple, not the Mac.

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On 3/3/2012 8:26 PM, Rod Speed wrote:

"Saving" Apple didn't require turning it into a $500 billion company. I think it's reasonable to say it was saved from a declining future long before the iPad or iPhone.
Also, people exaggerate how much trouble Apple was in at its low point. They always had a huge amount of cash for their size, so debt was not a problem. The problem was remaining viable and coming up with future products in a Wintel world.
--
Jared

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Jared wrote

Thats very arguable indeed given that everyone else was going down the tubes. Even HP has given up on PCs in the most generic sense of the term now.
The Mac was dying and it was only a matter of time before it was gone too if it hadnt been for the ipods, iphones and ipads.

No it is not. The Mac never had much of a future by then.

Others have noticed what happened to Commodore, Compaq, HP, Lenovo, etc etc etc.

Debt only works if the operation has a future. Without the ipods, iphones, ipads, Apple didnt.

And thats why they needed the ipods, iphones and ipads. The Macs were never gunna save their bacon.
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On 3/4/2012 4:50 PM, Rod Speed wrote:

I'm taking issue with your grouping those products all together.
The first iPod came out circa 2001. If you said the iPod saved them, that's reasonable. The iPad (2010) and the iPhone (2007) didn't save them, because an eternity (in the tech industry) had passed since the iPod and iTunes came out and Apple had become a giant already.
Apple matched its tech-bubble high around the end of 2004; its growth after that goes beyond merely becoming a viable company.
--
Jared

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Jared wrote

I was only doing that in the sense of what saved Apple.

Sure, but the ipod alone couldnt have saved Apple, that market was always going to saturate and more and more wouldnt bother to have a separate ipod once their cellphone could do what it did music wise.

Thats very arguable indeed.

Sure, but if they had instead chosen to just stick with the Mac, they would have gone down the tubes like Commodore, Compaq, Lenovo etc etc etc did eventually.
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Wrong.
The Apple eMac (education Mac) in 2002 was the first big seller after Jobs took the reigns. People lined up to buy the colorful all in one desktop. It was when Jobs came back to Apple.
On 3/4/12 1:50 PM, Rod Speed wrote:

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On 3/5/2012 12:00 PM, -DirtBag wrote:

You're thinking of the iMac and 1998.
The eMac was not colorful. I don't know the exact sales figures, but I'm sure they were small in comparison to the iMac.
--
Jared

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On 3/5/12 4:46 PM, Jared wrote:

iMac thats the one.
There was a laptop too that was colorful. It flopped I think.
With the Imac, Colorful all in one and it Seems like every dorm room had one. Thanks for the correction.
-Dirt
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