By the end of fiscal year 2013, Apple is expected to have acquired cash and marketable securities worth $200 billion, according to Bullish Cross’ Andy Zaky (via Fortune.) This would be a significant increase from the $110 billion Apple has on reserve today. With this in mind, here’s some thoughts on what Apple should use some of that cash for and no, we’re not suggesting another stock option.
Apple CEO Tim Cook already said his company needs to do more with social networking. And we’re pretty sure he wasn’t talking about propping up Apple’s unpopular Ping music service. So why not buy Twitter? Purchasing the private company would certainly make sense and help them compete nicely with Facebook.
Most likely, however, Apple would probably purchase a smaller social networking site like LinkedIn or Bebo in order to make it their own. Still, if Apple really wants to dominate the market, buying Twitter would do the trick.
Pros: Instant brand, millions of followers.
Cons: Buying Twitter would suddenly make Apple a social networking company too and that could be more than they’d want to be. Besides, with iOS 6 said to include much more Facebook integration n, perhaps Cook and company aren’t planning on actually going to war with the largest social network in the world.
Buy Barnes & Noble
Last July, rumors suggested Apple would purchase the last of the remaining big-box book resellers in the United States. While we’ve heard nothing more about this rumor since then, it still makes a lot of sense. The company owns over 700 retail stores plus an almost equal number of college bookstores across each state and the District of Columbia. Apple could use these locations to retire the Barnes & Noble name and reconfigure them as Apple retail stores.
Pros: 1,400 new Apple store locations would give the company a foothold almost everywhere.
Cons: Isn’t the future in e-books?
In 2011, there was some talk that Apple would acquire Hulu. Since that fell through, Apple could be wise to buy something even better, Netflix. This purchase would give Apple a significant foothold in the expanding streaming video market. Additionally, since Netflix has recently began developing original programming, it would give Apple a larger presence in Hollywood.
Pros: Netflix’s streaming video service is everywhere, from iDevices to DVD players to televisions. What a perfect way to offer significant programming on the rumored Apple iTV?
Cons: Would Apple want to get into the DVD business too?
Sony, once considered the most impressive consumer electronics company in the world, has seen better days. However, there is still a lot here to love including their camera, television, and entertainment holdings.
Pros: Apple could pick and choose what fits (and doesn’t fit) into their ecosystem and sell off the rest.
Cons: Perhaps too big a beast to take on.
Buy a stake in an automotive company
Microsoft’s Sync service is exclusively available in Ford automobiles. Apple should create a similar service available on other brands. Just think, the Apple Volkswagen or the Apple Mini.
Pros: An Apple product in every garage.
Cons: Would this push the Apple brand too far away from their roots?
Purchase a wireless company
We’ve already heard rumors that Apple will launch its own wireless service. Why do that when they could purchase an existing company and make it their own? While buying AT&T or Verizon Wireless may be out of reach, Sprint could be a good fit for Cupertino. Besides, the third largest U.S. carrier might be available on the cheap.
Pros: Would give Apple existing locations to sell their new service.
Cons: On this, starting fresh might be a better direction to take.
What do you think Apple should spend their money on?