Apple to Buy EA, Netflix, Facebook?
Color me skeptic, but there’s something about this recent story that just seems a little too far-fetched to be true. Belied by a strong fourth quarter earnings report, Apple sales were boosted by the recently released iPad and iPhone 4 and the newly upgraded iPod lineup, leading market analysts to ponder over Apple’s next big move. As reported by the New York Times, CEO Steve Jobs posited that Apple would one day like to use its excess cash on more “strategic opportunities”, leading some to question over whether Apple will enter into the gaming realm with an acquisition of Electronic Arts or into social media by buying Facebook.
In the past, Apple would normally acquire smaller companies more focused on product development, such as when they bought Intrinsity, a Texas-based company that develops faster computer chips for mobile devices. With Apple’s continued dominance over the smart phone and MP3 player markets and their strengthening hold over the tablet markets, it wouldn’t shock us if Apple made a splash with a grand announcement anytime soon, though we have a hard time believing the rumors some analysts have been spreading.
With the iPhone and iPad recently emerging as leading video gaming technologies in the past few years, it wouldn’t surprise me if Apple developed their own development wing, though with the console market already divided as it is, I don’t see Apple trying to enter the console market anytime soon.
I also find it hard to believe that Apple would purchase Facebook, especially on the heels of their music-themed social networking site Ping, though not necessarily impossible. Facebook does offer over 500 million subscribers, though its cost (Facebook is estimated at abou $33 billion) might be too much.
Also don’t expect Apple to buy Netflix anytime soon, as long as iTunes remains as a leading provider for television shows and movies.