Since Cupertino based tech giant and iPhone maker Apple inc was incorporated decades ago, the company has always favoured a business philosophy of acquiring
small companies that can be easily integrated into existing company projects. Apple’s acquisitions over the years have played significant roles in the development and commercialization of its hardware products including the Macintosh line of personal computers, the iPod line of portable media players, the iPad line of tablets, and the iPhone line of mobile phones as well its software and services. From its first acquisition of Network Innovations, a software firm on 2nd March 1988, Cupertino have been known to have ‘Publicly’ acquired 70 companies to date, though the number of ‘secret’ acquisitions would probably make that number exceed the two digits mark. Apple inc acquired 13 tech companies in 2013 alone, the highest it has ever done— at least publicly. Apple’s largest acquisition so far was that of Beats Electronics in August 2014 in a US$3 billion deal.
Now with investors ‘weirdly’ ditching apple stocks just after a time were Apple reported an $18.4 billion profit, the highest of any publicly listed company on earth — Wall Street and sector analyst may have slightly many questions. Perharps critical among them — With Apple’s iPhone sales expected to experience a decline for the first time and worries over peaking growth and a slower rate of innovations, Just were the heck is Apple’s growth going to come from?
Apple’s CEO Tim Cooks may have an easy way out (though not as easy as it sounds), with Apple sitting on a $206 billion of cash reserve, that’s just equally sitting in the bank doing nothing — Apple has a whole war chest ( or arsenal or whatever you wan to call it ) to go thermonuclear on acquisitions. If Cooks decides to play along this lines, what are the most plausible options on its table? Here is a list of 5 most talked about option for Cooks;
Many of us have probably caught up on Apple’s rumored intentions to start producing cars. A rumor that went haywire late last year, attracting comments from top Apple executives, though not enough to make definitive judgement. But hey, Apple needs to grow and it needs to diversify and trying the Automobile sector isn’t a bad idea at all. However, apart from years of driving around in cars made by other tech companies, Apple probably have no “commercially viable” clues on how to make cars — niche cars as we would expect— an actually sale them in a market run by Automobile giants with years of experience in the industry. So why wait years to plot a viable business plan? Just buy Tesla — a company that would very much fit Apple’s niche product, electric powered, highly priced auto philosophy.
Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk already has confirmed a meeting with Apple, though he wasn’t benevolent enough to hint on what was discussed nor who was present. NoNonetheless Apple’s “Project Titan,” allegedly a code name for its secret car project could benefit immensely from Tesla’s advanced battery technology and Apple’s shareholders have reportedly asked Cook to consider buying the $26 billion worth auto giant.
Public sentiments has it that if Cupertino doesn’t buy this one, its competitors definitely Will. With a market cap of $2.1 billion, Apple could ride on Pandora’s back to rule the digital music industry. 5.1 billion hours, that’s the number of hours Pandora’s over 78.1 million quarterly active users have listened to music on the digital music service. Pandora’s stock have gone 57% down in just a year and its the perfect opportunity for Apple to make some good use of its billion dollar cash stack. With $206 billion on call, Cupertino can conveniently buy Pandora and no one would notice it spent some cash.
Some may consider it highly unlikely, but just like Pandora, twitter hasn’t been having a good outing as of recent. Worth about $40 billion about 730 days ago, the microblogging service is now worth about less than half its peak value at $12.2 billion. Nonetheless, with over 307 million users sending thousands of tweets per minute and Apple’s apparent love of simplicity which twitter seems to prioritise, Cupertino’s acquisition of Twitter could help it market its Apple TV and Apple music product and services.
Before we go into the details, it’s important to state categorically that though Apple is obviously the most valuable tech empire on our galaxy — at least on earth (not like those tech companies on mars would care anyway) but the iPhone makers are not so generous when it comes to spending on buys. With a market cap of $58.1 billion analyst consider it “highly unlikely” for an Apple-Time Warner deal to happen. However things happen, with Apple reportedly trying to build its own streaming service to rival the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu, Cupertino may, though unliely make an exception.
With a market cap of $40.4 billion and its shares nosediving about 18 percent recently, Netflix is another ripe acquisition target Apple could consider hitting on. Similar to the need of snapping up Time Warner, instead of launching its own streaming service, Apple could utilise Netflix’s over 74 million global subscribers to push up its game. Its highly likely that if Apple decides to snap up any of the aforementioned companies, the deal is likely going to be Apple’s costliest ever. So, until Mr. Cooks decides to buy — all we can do is speculate.