A great article in the NY Times about how Apple could acquire some new assets with that pile of cash they are sitting on…$117billion worth of cash that is. Some interesting and great ideas. A couple I would argue should be Apple’s list:
- Netflix – I have said this in the past that Netflix would be a good asset for Apple. The NY Times article has them on the “outside” of the list. However for $6b (2x market value), Apple would get the perfect content library to add to their iTunes store. This would be a strong asset to add as they battle with Amazon for content. They could also leverage this content library into the Apple TV service.
- Barnes and Nobles – Holy Brick and Mortar batman…yes…there were rumors that Apple had sniffed around B&N. Here is why it would make sense. The Nook. You call me crazy, but the Nook is the perfect foil to go after the Kindle and the Google Tablet. Apple would not “dilute” the iPad but offering a smaller version of the Apple tablet. Instead Apple would get right into the 7in screen tablet market. Incorporate the content library from B&N as well as getting all those locations and Apple now has another channel. The Barnes and Nobles stores would also allow Apple to have another distribution channel – maybe even close the music sections and have iTune distribution via the store wifi. I am sure Apple could get the book store for a cool billion…chump change for Apple.
- Nintendo – What is missing from Apple offerings that Microsoft and Sony have? Game console. I realize this might be a stretch. But the one area many of these firms are still battling for is the home entertainment hub. Apple is trying to get in there with the Apple TV, but that is one product that has not taken off. Nintendo has the Wii, which revolutionized gaming and moved away from the static button controller to using motion. Apple has that as well with the iPhone, iPod and iPad. Could there be some synergies between those and the Wii console? Why not? Granted the price tag could be steep – $11b + but that is less than 10% of what Apple has on hand!
- Yahoo! – Okay okay, they internet giant just hired one of Google’s stars, so why would they look to be acquired now? Because everyone has a price! An acquisition of Yahoo! could become the platform for Apple’s social platform. Yahoo has a number of assets – IM, email, content, Flikr, to name a few, that with some Apple magic dust might live up to their potentials.
Just some thoughts on which toys Apple could add to their arsenal. Much hinges on the direction Apple wants to take – make a greater play in corporate? stress social? add content sources? They have plenty of cash to take on multiple avenues. But as history has taught us, no matter how much cash you have if you cannot focus and do not keep your eye on the goal you will eventually slip up.
Apple is currently in lofty company. Hopefully they use their cash wisely to maintain this stature.