With or without Apple?

Looks like U2 is going without its iconic corporate partner, at least for its upcoming dance across the globe, which begins June 30 in Barcelona, Spain with the kick-off to the band’s Live Nation tour to support its new No Line on the Horizon album. The Irish band’s tour will be sponsored by Research In Motion, whose Blackberry is being challenged by Apple’s iPhone.

It wasn’t long ago that Apple and U2 were joined at the, uh, iPod.

In 2004, lead singer Bono and the guitarist known as Edge joined Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs on the stage of the newly restored California Theatre in San Jose to announce an unprecedented marketing partnership between U2 and the Cupertino technology company.

Then there was the jet-black iPod U2 Special Edition.

“This love affair between Steve Jobs and Bono – I don’t know,” said Needham analyst Charles Wolf. “Hey, it’s a democracy. Bono was hanging out with Bill Gates for a while.”

Alas, money is thicker than love.

“RIM was able to come up with the cash and Apple didn’t,” said analyst Rob Enderle. “I imagine one of the reasons RIM got this is because Steve Jobs (out on sick leave) is not there to say, ‘What a minute. We should probably own this one.’’’

John Boudreau John Boudreau (79 Posts)

I cover the intersection of Silicon Valley and Asia.