Elliott C. Back: Internet & Technology

Apple’s Aquisition Targets

Posted in Apple by Elliott Back on December 8th, 2007.

Apparently, Apple is sitting on more than $15B in cash. Cisco and Microsoft are the only two other companies with as much cash on hand. So what would you do if you were a software / hardware / media company with that much money, and nowhere to spend it? There are really only a few plausible things it can do:

  • Buy a competitor and integrate their product into an Apple product
  • Buy a company in an entirely new market area and fork out
  • Buy infrastructure (buildings, plants, wireless spectra, retail)

Since I’m tired I’m going to list the most interesting possible aquisition for Apple in each category. These are just whimsical conjectures:

Buy something different


If their partnership with Intel (INTC) ever starts to get on their nerves, buying AMD could work just as well. With a current market cap of only 5.02B, AMD brings both expertise in computer processors and video cards to the table. They also make the hardware, a process that could save Apple lots of money if it brought AMD into the fold. In Steve Jobs’ ideal world, everything in an Apple computer would be designed and produced by Apple; this would be one step closer.

Buy something weird


The critical problem with Ikea is that people hate its design, but it’s cheap and effective. Imagine if Apple stretched a little, saved up (they have a 50B market cap, estimated), and eventually bought them. Then Ikea could be producing lovely designs and premium furniture. Its multiple would triple. And, it’s already quite profitable.

Buy something physical


When I mentioned plants above, I bet you were thinking chip fab plants. I was really thinking of large chunks of rainforest which would back an eco-currency that could be traded i.e. sold on the open market. Carbon credits are all the rage, and it would be a beautiful PR stunt. It would also be profitable, at least until we stop burning fossil fuels.

Update: Looks like this is hitting the news again, with 9to5mac rejecting Adobe and the other Ars picks. Play on!

This entry was posted on Saturday, December 8th, 2007 at 1:41 am and is tagged with . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback.

13 Responses to “Apple’s Aquisition Targets”

  1. Ken Court says:

    Sun Microsystems.
    Now that Xsan is mature and the Xserve has both dual power supplies and lights out Solaris on VMs could dwarf the business they currently do – absolutely dwarf. There are tons of Enterprise deploys that are stuck in Solaris and cannot migrate… why not just stick them in a VM?

  2. Sausalito says:

    Buying AMD will be excellent decision.

    A-A-A ( Apple-AMD-ATI ) will make a great synergy…I think Steve Jobs know this.

  3. Pete Zimowski says:

    BUY ADOBE! Photoshop, all the CS3, Flash (knock Silvercloud or Silverfish or whatever MS’s flash-competitor is in the dirt), integrate best parts of movie apps into Apple movie apps. Still make a Windoze version of some apps (there’s a lot of money in there), but have control…THEN build ability to run Windoze apps without Windoze into OS X. There’d be no more good media apps left to run on Windoze, so the whole “can’t let Windoze apps run natively on OS X because no one will develop for OS X” argument gets diluted significantly.

    Oh, and buy Bungie…..

  4. brockway says:

    I also think Adobe would be a good idea ….and I like Ikea’s designs. I think a lot of people do.

  5. Synthmeister says:

    1. Adobe—make Photoshop Mac only (like Shake)
    2. Wireless spectrum
    3. Crack enterprise service/software/troubleshooting division
    4. Don’t buy a content company, just make it easy for the artist—music, cinema, etc.—to go directly to the consumer through iTunes Music Store
    5. Bungie

  6. Tom says:

    I’d buy NBC…. And a Hollywood movie studio or two. That’d solve all kinds of problems now, wouldn’t it??

  7. auramac says:


  8. Elliott Back says:

    Mac Plus, you should check out their balance sheet: finance.google.com/finance?q=GOOG. They are keeping their cash reserves a little under $10B.

  9. don says:

    AMD is an interesting choice. Not only would they have their own cpu’s, but the graphic capabilities of ATI too.

    Not sure about your other two choices, but I would be happy if they spent a little on me – common Steve, what’s one little MacPro with a 30 inch monitor going to do – break the bank?

    Actually, Apple is now worth more than not only IBM, Dell, HP, but also Intel. It would be a bigger piece to chew, but Apple could do it if they wanted to.

    In the meantime, they can save money by sending me just the MacPro and accompanying goodies!

  10. mac plus says:

    Google has $35B in cash.

    It is rumured to be bidding $12B in the 700 mhz broadband auction in Jan 08

  11. I like the thought of buying plants!

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