Warren Buffett hasn’t been too keen on the tech sector — or so says the reputation anyway. But Berkshire Hathaway‘s somewhat surprising reveal that it owns $1 billion stake in Apple doesn’t come as an utter shock to vigilant Buffett watchers — for two reasons. First, Apple can easily be seen as a consumer goods company with a tech emphasis instead of a pure tech play. (Tech is now part of everything; even GE’s Jeffrey Immelt is calling GE an “industrial internet” company now.)
The second reason Buffett watchers aren’t surprised — besides that it was always an exaggeration that Buffett had little interest in tech — is that Berkshire already owns a very large stake in IBM. Berkshire invested more than $10 billion in IBM in 2011. Both investments are notable because Buffett famously invests in companies with good management that are in it for the long haul. IBM and Apple are old adversaries — binary opponents in the personal computer wars back in the 1980s. Their paths diverged, but both companies have the pedigree, customer base and controls that Buffett likes in his large investments. So Apple and IBM, once fierce rivals inextricably bound in the consumer imagination, are together again — in the warm arms of the Berkshire portfolio.