10 Companies That Apple SHOULD Buy

10 Companies That Apple SHOULD Buy

The Internet went into meltdown mode when the rumours first spread that Apple was planning to buy Beats Audio – the uber-cool manufacturer of Dr Dre headphones – for a massive $3bn. Some people have questioned the wisdom of the deal, but Apple is awash with cash – more than $150bn according to many estimates – so it could snap up Beats with some spare change that it finds down the back of the sofa... But if Apple is going to start splashing the cash then we can think of a few companies that it needs even more than Beats. So here’s our wish list for the products and technologies that we’d like to see Apple snap up next.

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  • Spotify
  • Sony
  • Nokia Here
  • Leap Motion
  • Withings
  • Liberty Media
  • Dropbox
  • Square
  • Adobe
  • Pizza Hut
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Spotify

Apple’s takeover of Beats Audio has left many of us scratching our heads. Beats may be cool but Apple really doesn’t need to get into the headphone market, and $3 billion is a lot to pay for the Beats Music streaming service that was launched less than six months ago.

Spotify, on the other hand, is well-established in the music streaming market and would instantly give Apple’s iTunes Radio service a much higher profile. More importantly, Spotify has millions of subscribers in countries all around the world, while iTunes Radio is currently only available in the US and Australia.

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Apple’s takeover of Beats Audio has left many of us scratching our heads. Beats may be cool but Apple really doesn’t need to get into the headphone market, and $3 billion is a lot to pay for the Beats Music streaming service that was launched less than six months ago.

Spotify, on the other hand, is well-established in the music streaming market and would instantly give Apple’s iTunes Radio service a much higher profile. More importantly, Spotify has millions of subscribers in countries all around the world, while iTunes Radio is currently only available in the US and Australia.

Sony

Sony may be an electronics giant but it’s struggled in recent years and its current share price values it at a relatively modest $20bn.

Buying Sony would give Apple the PlayStation 4, instantly making it a huge power in the gaming industry and providing console technology that could take the AppleTV to a whole new level. Sony’s TV division – with its focus on leading edge 4K video – would also come in handy if Apple ever decides to make a proper TV set. Sony also owns successful film franchises such as Spiderman and James Bond, which would make nice exclusives for iTunes and Apple TV.

Nokia Here

Microsoft has recently taken over Nokia’s phone division, but Nokia also has a mapping business called 'Here' that would be really useful for Apple.

The disastrous launch of Apple’s own Maps app cost software chief Scott Forstall his job and brought a public apology from CEO Tim Cook. Buying Here would give Apple the reliable up-to-date mapping data that it needs to knock Maps into shape. The services provided by Here include 3D maps, live updates on traffic flow, and information about public transport systems in 700 cities around the world. It’s basically got everything that Apple Maps lacks.

Leap Motion

Apple recently bought PrimeSense, the company that makes the motion-detection sensors used in Microsoft’s Kinect. That move suggests that Apple might be planning to add motion-detection to a souped-up version of the Apple TV.

However, we’d like to see Apple buy Leap Motion as well. Leap Motion makes a little sensor-widget that can plug into your existing Mac or PC so that you can use hand-gestures to control the computer. The Leap Motion sensor is very precise and can even detect the movement of individual fingers, which means that it can be used for games and music apps, as well as 3D design and visualization.

Withings

Nike is moving away from the wearables market after the failure of its Fuelband fitness tracker, but Apple has been hiring staff with backgrounds in both health and fashion in recent months, suggesting that it still sees potential in wearables and the rumoured iWatch.

Withings makes a number of interesting products in this area, ranging from its O2 fitness tracking watch to digital scales and heart-monitors. That would give Apple an entry into the fashion and fitness markets, and maybe even offer the potential to develop new digital devices for use in science and medicine.

Liberty Media

Apple is rumoured to be in negotiations with US cable company Comcast, perhaps to add some of its cable TV programmes and on-demand services to a future Apple TV update. That’s not a bad idea, but Comcast isn’t exactly a well-known name here in Europe so Apple might want to line-up a similar deal with a company such as Liberty Global.

Having taken over Virgin Media last year, Liberty Global now has its own set-top boxes and broadband services in millions of UK homes, so it’s well placed to give the underperforming Apple TV a foothold in a UK market that is currently dominated by the likes of Sky and BT.

Dropbox

Steve Jobs tried to buy Dropbox years ago, recognizing that its cloud storage and syncing services would be an important addition to the Mac OS. The failure to snap up Dropbox left Apple struggling for years, before its failed .Mac and MobileMe services eventually developed into something vaguely useful that we now know as iCloud.

But even now iCloud has plenty of rough edges, and services such as iWork for iCloud look pretty crude when compared to rivals such as Google Docs or Microsoft’s Office Online. Apple should just bite the bullet let the experts at Dropbox knock iCloud into shape.

Square

Apple is still experimenting with its own Passbook app for iOS, and it doesn’t seem terribly impressed by the near-field communication system (NFC) used by some of its rivals. But sooner or later Apple is going to need a reliable system for handling mobile payments on the iPhone.

Buying a big company like PayPal or Visa might help, but those companies would cost vast amounts, as well as bringing quite a bit of baggage that Apple probably won’t want to deal with. Square is still a relatively small outfit but its system for handling credit card payments on iOS devices is gaining popularity with many small businesses and could grow much bigger with Apple behind it.

Adobe

Adobe’s Photoshop helped to save the Mac in the '80s by making it the 'creative' computer that was used by designers and photographers all over the world. And how does Apple show its gratitude? By bitching about Flash and developing apps like Aperture and Final Cut that directly compete with Adobe’s own products.

But Final Cut seems to have lost its way, and Apple needs Adobe's expertise in audio and video production if the new Mac Pro is going to regain its leadership in the creative industries. Apple should just kiss and make up with Adobe – and sweeten the deal with a cheque for about $30bn.

Pizza Hut

If we’re going to be spending a lot of time sitting in front of our new Apple TV then we want Apple Pizza to go with it. Forget monstrosities such as the hotdog-stuffed crust that Pizza Hut has inflicted upon the world. Apple’s pizzas would come in 7-inch and 10-inch versions. They’d be thin and light, and use top-quality ingredients that make you feel smug and superior to all the other couch-potatoes in your street. And you could order through iTunes along with your season pass to Doctor Who, so you wouldn’t even need to pick up the phone.

Comments

Comments

macworlduk said: Apologies Beachball, we'll work on getting that fixed asap.

Beachball said: These pages won't work on an iPad 2 using Safari. This page won't, and the page about the 10 Apple failures doesn't work as well, I can slide the images but cannot select. Odd for a site targeting Apple users.

alexfanso said: I don't think apple wanted to buy Beats Audio to start making headphones but maybe to have better Beats speakers inside MacBooks and I actually think that's not a bad idea at all!

Dragonfly said: Agree with Nokia Here, that can't hurt Apple's cause. Apple shouldn't buy Adobe because they'd kill Flash / Air app development which, while difficult, is infinitely easier than developing anything with Xcode.

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