Apple needs to go on a shopping spree

Apple needs to go on a shopping spree

Summary: Apple is notoriously stingy with its bankroll only acquiring 10 companies in the past 13 years. It's high time that Apple open up the vault and make some acquisitions.

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I enjoyed reading Peter Burrows excellent piece for BusinessWeek ("Is Apple Ready for Merger Mania?") this morning and couldn't help but agree. It's well-known that Apple has $23 billion in the bank and it's high time that the company use its warchest to make some strategic acquisitions.

Apple's been rumored to acquire everyone from Adobe to Yahoo! over the years, but they never seem to pull the trigger on the big deal, opting instead for smaller, strategic acquisitions.

Most recently Apple has acquired PA Semi (chips) in October 2008, PlaceBase (maps) in October 2009 and Lala (music streaming) in December 2009.

I've previously written that Apple should acquire TiVo (serveral times), Netflix, Pandora,  Shazam, Midomi, Last.fm and even Hulu – but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. Audible was scooped up by Amazon in January 2008 so that's off the table too.

I still think that Apple should acquire Pandora, a streaming music service that I use every day but I fear that the dream may have died with Apple's acquisition of Lala last month.

What are your thoughts? What companies should Apple acquire in 2010?

Photo: AppleGazette

Topics: Apple, Banking, Enterprise Software

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42 comments
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  • Only Microsoft, Oracle, IBM , Cisco, Intel Can match Apple.

    Apple is so superior in technology, if they buy Microsoft, Oracle, IBM , Cisco, Intel, Motorola , Adobe then it is worth, if they buy junks like Nokia it will be liability to Apple.
    SO IT IS BETTER TO KEEP MONEY IN BANK rather than buying junks like NOKIA.
    TalentSupporter
    • Apple should buy some gold

      ... to hedge against the mother of all currency collapse AKA death of US Dollar, so should every other big firm w/ cash in their hand; otherwise you don't know what that 20 billions can buy for Apple down the road, maybe two tanks of gas.
      LBiege
    • Sorry...

      ...is that the same Nokia who sell about three times as many smartphones as Apple?

      OK then.
      Sleeper Service
      • which sells...

        sorry, couldn't help myself: "... the same nokia which sells ...", not "who
        sell". otherwise keep up the good work. you are hilarious!
        bannedfromzdnetagain
      • Hmmm.

        "Nokia to Halve Smartphone Production in 2010, Official
        Suicide Watch Starts Now"

        http://gizmodo.com/5418797/nokia-to-halve-
        smartphone-production-in-2010-official-suicide-
        watch-starts-now
        Jkirk3279
  • Why?

    Why should Apple go on a shopping spree? The tech news is filled with reports of mergers that didn't work out, and often drove one or both companies out of business. What's wrong with growing slowly but steadily, and focusing on your core market? Apple has an extremely unique corporate culture. Trying to absorb another large company would be a recipe for disaster. I for one appreciate a company that doesn't put the entirety of their efforts into 'maximizing shareholder value' and instead actually has money in the bank. Have we not learned anything from the near collapse of our economy???
    zhenya00
    • Why Indeed

      Of course, M&A bankers want Apple to buy companies because the bankers make money on the [b]deal[/b].

      I agree 100% with zhenya00.

      And, pundits write this stuff to get page views.
      davebarnes
    • Liberals wanting people to spend money for no reason

      its rather sad. Just because your broke and dont know how to spend money doesnt mean that they have to stoop to your level.
      Been_Done_Before
      • @Been_Done_Before

        "Liberals wanting people to spend money for no reason"

        Isn't this the reason why the economy tanked in the first place?
        Axsimulate
        • LOL!

          Don't you know who Mike Cox is?
          Sleeper Service
  • Apple should buy some buy some humility (grin)

    Apple is such a smug, obnoxious, arrogant company.
    Tom12Tom
    • You are applying emotions onto a company?

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn
    • You know what they say...

      If there's something you don't like in someone else, it's
      probably because it's a part of your own personality you
      struggle with.

      Obnoxious much?
      Jkirk3279
  • RE: Apple needs to go on a shopping spree

    Apple should acquire ZDNet and promote Mr. O'Grady to VP
    in charge of armchair acquisition schemes.
    aaronwyatt
  • RE: Apple needs to go on a shopping spree

    Gotta love it when ZDNet bloggers think they know more than Apple does about what they should acquire. If it makes sense to Apple then they will do it.
    Loverock Davidson
  • Apple should stay away from FOSS companies

    unless the plan to GPLed their OSX.
    Linux Geek
  • Apple is in deep trouble....

    Let's face facts, Apple is not buying anything because Microsoft dominates the IT landscape. Most cloud providers and web transactions are occurring on the robust and enterprise class Microsoft stack. Consumers are flocking to Microsoft goods at retail giants like Best Buy. Apple is saving their money for the soon-coming-day when iPhones are dead because Windows Phone has crushed it. Zune is already the media player of choice for millions of "squirters" worldwide. Make sure to follow my deep insights at http://twitter.com/michcoxmsft
    Mike Cox
    • ROTFFLMFAO!

      Thanks for the big l;augh, now I can go out & have a good time.
      Intellihence
    • @Mike Cox

      Hey Mikey wipe Steve Ballmer's smegma off your face, it's disturbing.
      Axsimulate
    • What a laugh that is!

      "Apple is saving their money for the soon-coming-day when iPhones are
      dead because Windows Phone has crushed it. Zune is already the media
      player of choice for millions of "squirters" worldwide."

      I think you forgot to use a sarcasm tag on your post.
      divebus