Apple cash rich; experts nod at possible Sony purchase. Snapple anyone?

Apple's fairy-tale like business history is impressive to say the least; from boom to bust to resurgence and now ubiquity, the company is an undeniable juggernaut in the sphere of personal computing and technology. Posting gain after gain, with dollars rolling in and investors continuing to have the sense to invest in the monumental company, Apple's self paved yellow brick road looks as if it will continue, well beyond the sunset.

Steve Jobs' company is no stranger to a good old acquisition. With the purchase of PA Semi, Intrinsity and numourous design houses, Apple's expansion to suit their needs is by no means shy. With $51 billion in free cash and both long and short term securities, Apple is in a very comfortable position to begin looking into “strategic opportunities," as revealed in a conference call last week. 

Business experts have been speculating about possible Apple aquisitions, basing their claims on various presumed necessities within the company. Bill Kreher, of Edward Jones, explains that Apple "typically only make very small acquisitions and focus on organic growth and product development," and believes that Apple may move from component suppliers over to those that are providers of content.

Both Netflix and EA are said to be potential acquisitions for the company, and even a recent Jobs/Zuckerberg dinner date is under scrutiny. Facebook would be the only real social networking step for Apple to take. With Ping being a generally accepted flop, and Apple's current Facetime drive, Facebook/time integeration would only be smart of the company; adding 500 million more potential iTunes customers it their current 160m and integrating communication by streamining into a single platform would be brilliant.

Also interesting is Barron Magazine's speculation that Apple could take over Adobe, Sony or Walt Disney with their spare cash. CVG has pointed out that Sony's market cap, is around $40 billion. This is well within Apple's purchasing range, although the benefits may be arguable and indiscrete. 

Image Credit: Macblogz

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Wow, this has got to be the dumbest rumour ever.

In what parallel universe is Apple capable of buying Sony?
Apple is the size of an ant compared to Sony, I would believe it would be the other way around. Sony could probably buy two or three Apples.
Whoever came up with this needs to read a lof of stuff.
Sony doesn't just sell gadgets, it's one of the biggest corporations in the world, not just in the US... Apple needs a lot of years of steady growth to be able to do something like this.

Facebook is totally off the list. Microsoft own 1.6% of Facebook. There isn't going to be a co-ownership there. Microsoft would buy Facebook out before allow Apple to buy it. That was just dumb too.

Sony...is about the size of Jupiter, compared with Apple being the size of our moon.
Facebook is the size of the Pacific while Apple would be the Gulf of Mexico.

For all you science majors? The largest star known to man is Vy Canis Majoris, it is estimated to be 1.7Billion miles in size...that would be Sony, while our Sun would be Apple. And just remember, the distance of our earth from the Sun on average is 93M.

Lets get real when it comes to speculation.

Apple could buy EA, but I doubt that would happen. EA has way to many partnerships with big names to get ruined by Apple. EA's biggest partner is most likely Apple's largest competitior; Microsoft.

Speculation about who apple can buy is just dunb. Especially when you are stupid enough to mention Sony. Sony is a MUCH BIGGER COMPANY THAN APPLE WILL EVER BE. Why not go over to Wikipedia and see how much Sony is worth. Sony is nearly at 80Billion in revenue for this year alone. Sony has way more products than Apple. The Playstation has sold more units in its existance, than Apple has sold Mac in its total 30 year history. If anything Sony has plenty of money to buy Apple, not the other way around.

This is just bait to get the sheep baaaahing about nothing.
Apply buying Sony...maybe Mercedes will buy BMW.

Hope this will not happen because if Apple does buy a company, then Apple will restrict you how you use a product, when you use it, where you use it, and prohibit you from using it as they like.

If they buy EA, they may make games only for Mac. Facebook+Ping+Spy on user.

This is just plain hoax, pure gratuitous speculation.

Apple will NEVER afford to buy the giant Sony..... ever.

I think it's the other way around for sure.

macstorm said,
This is just plain hoax, pure gratuitous speculation.

Apple will NEVER afford to buy the giant Sony..... ever.

I think it's the other way around for sure.

you realise this article is op-ed just like the nytimes article it was paraphrased from.

Actually i think SanDisk is much better target given apple have spend nearly $12 billion on Flash chips this year.

I will cancel my Netflix subscription, burn my sony equipment, pirate AS MANY ADOBE PRODUCTS as possible and sell them for 1 dollar per disc. I will destroy anything disney that my kids have an explain that what the Bible actually meant was Steve Jobs not Satan.

I will delete my facebook account and return to speaking to people on the phone and with my mouth.

Americas ONLY hope for the pursuit of intelligent products and design ( as opposed to the drone, dumbing down process of Apple) is Google. As long as they continue, hopefully we will see Apples failure. Unless jobs drinks one too many and slips up on his child slave labor fetish.

..and no one cares about EA except the jarhead, concussion ridden, brain damaged, beer slurrpin' sports fans.

Sony actually fits apple pretty well, why i didn't thought out previously?

Games - PlayStation is an valuable asset that Apple would need to enhance their Gaming Side of things.
Cinema Studio - Sony Pictures - Another Content asset that apple would love to own or control.
Sony BMG - Music , extremely valuable to itunes
LCD Patents, Sony have many LCD related patents on hand.
Battery Patents, incase no ones knows 80+% today's Mobile / Laptop Battery are made or OEM by Sony.
Blu-Ray - No longer a bag of Hurt.

Apple buying any of the mentioned companies would be bad. But whatever, just because you have the cash to buy a company doesn't mean you can, its available, or you should.

As the nytimes article points out, they should be going for companies like ARM. Why the hell would they want to go for sony. Sounds a bit silly. Unless they want sony tech/patents(considering sony has been not been doing so well the last few years). Long term sony isnt a great option

$0.02

If Apple buys Sony ... Jobs could reshape the Playstation into something to crush the Xbox

I wish Apple computers could become cheaper, I'd like to have an Apple mini-Super computer for gaming.

Alley Cat said,
If Apple buys Sony ... Jobs could reshape the Playstation into something to crush the Xbox

I wish Apple computers could become cheaper, I'd like to have an Apple mini-Super computer for gaming.

Apple involvement in anything never equates to cheaper, lol.

Financial analyst has to be the easiest job in the world, they are wrong more than weather forecast and miss the blatantly obvious. If these guys are so smart how did they miss the entire mortgage meltdown? Or the dot com bubble in 2001? Someone should start keeping records on how often they are really right, which would take much less effort than tracking how often they are wrong.

I miss the days when rumor and speculation was not considered news. No offense to Neowin, but a lot of articles posted here and on other sites are just speculation and rumor.

techbeck said,
I miss the days when rumor and speculation was not considered news. No offense to Neowin, but a lot of articles posted here and on other sites are just speculation and rumor.

Totally agree. Pure gratuitous speculation indeed.

trek said,
I seriously doubt the Japanese Government would allow Sony to be bought by Apple.

+1 This. This wouldn't pass Japanese regulators.

Faisal Islam said,
According to Wikipedia..Sony's total asset is $137.694 billion...Where apple has only $47.50 billion So how is it possible?

Cash is an asset and according to the article Apple has 51bill so your source is clearly wrong. That is 51bill after liabilities and shareholder stock. On top of that, cash is only one asset of a company which means Apple has to be worth more than 51bill. You still have accounts payable, properties, equipment, and a few other things.

ILikeTobacco said,

Cash is an asset and according to the article Apple has 51bill so your source is clearly wrong. That is 51bill after liabilities and shareholder stock. On top of that, cash is only one asset of a company which means Apple has to be worth more than 51bill. You still have accounts payable, properties, equipment, and a few other things.

Well then lets say $50+$60 = $11 Billion. Still lower then Sony Corporation. Hopefully I'm not gonna add Steve's hair comb to Apple asset.

Faisal Islam said,
According to Wikipedia..Sony's total asset is $137.694 billion...Where apple has only $47.50 billion

You are correct. Plain and simple truth.

PotatoJ said,
If they bought Sony, they would have to shed a lot of the IP's. (Please keep Playstation!)
It's more likely they'll just scrap the PlayStation Store and integrate iTunes into PS3/PSP, there is alot invested in the PlayStation brand and axing the brand will only strengthen the competitors (MS and Nintendo), Apple won't want that.

I can't see this happening, Sony is a huge company... to buy out all that Stock and still keep Apple financially stable during the transition period would be rocky.... not to mention the possibility of some of the lawsuits that could be filed against it going through

Its been said that in the 80's Steve idolized the Sony way of doing things. It's possible that Steve still has an infatuation with Sony.

Apple would die of indigestion if they even thought about doing this. Sony employs 172K workers. Apple has less than 35K. Jobs would be in over his head.

bj55555 said,
Apple would die of indigestion if they even thought about doing this. Sony employs 172K workers. Apple has less than 35K. Jobs would be in over his head.

Correct.

I dont' think Apple may buy Sony/Disney/Adobe. They'll buy a co which has enterprise presence. They're already ruling the Consumer World. Now, they need to turn to the enterprise world. They may buy HP, being Oracle Larry's close friend, it'll benefit both Apple & Oracle. Even DELL is also a possibility. I'm not sure about purchasing power when it comes to HP/DELL.

jinishans said,
They may buy HP.

How? HP's revenue, assets, equity everything is higher then Apple. It sounds like Autodesk gonna buy Microsoft.

Faisal Islam said,

How? HP's revenue, assets, equity everything is higher then Apple. It sounds like Autodesk gonna buy Microsoft.

Hey, I told already right, I'm not sure about the numbers. May not be now, probably after a yr later. But, def. they're in need of a Enterprise buy.

I Apple bought Sony, I would expect MS to do something along the lines of trying to merge with Nintendo or EA or Epic etc etc.

Well, I think it's a little premature to claim Ping is a flop (And this coming from anything but an Apple fanboy...). At this point I still think it's best to wait and see on that front.

As for the other acquisition suggestions, they don't really make all that much sense. Sony? FAR too much redundancy between the two companies. EA? Apple has shown no desire in getting into game development themselves... I think they only want to provide the market. Facebook? Maybe, but what is there really to gain here honestly? How many of those users don't already use iTunes? It's a sizable purchase just to have something to replace Ping with... Nor would Jobs admit defeat with Ping this early on...

Apple needs to keep its hands off my Sony! Aside electronics, Sony is involved with waaay too many things like Sony Ericsson and everything they do with Sony BMG and Sony Pictures, and has its Walkman brand. All direct competition for things Apple is involved in. That, and the recent cooperation between Sony and Google, will keep Apple from buying Sony.

Still, if I see anything about Apple talking with Sony, I will go to Apple's HQ and protest. Sony fanboys unite!

haha.. anyways.. this will never happen. Apple is only cash rich in the USA. Sony is Cash rich Globally. There is alot more to Sony than just the North American Continent.

This is a stupid rumor gone wrong!!

Steve has been a long-time fan of Sony, but I don't think he sees that much to gain from that.

Facebook on the other hand... Especially with their attempts to become "The" home entertainment and social company as of late. A newly released Ping-empowered iTunes doesn't quite cut it for those lofty goals...

OK, the two companies that will never see a penny from me combining? Makes it simpler in that I'll only have one companies products to avoid. But as others above said, it'll never happen.

The real question is: will Apple take the Blu-Ray out of the PS3?

But seriously, it's not a bad idea to take over Sony if they want to get into gaming and improve their numbers in the media center area. I don't see them taking over EA.

zikalify said,
Apple wont buy sony, nor will they acquire Facebook.

+1. It's not good to trust everything the speculators say these days... *Yawn*

zikalify said,
Apple wont buy sony, nor will they acquire Facebook.

I agree. There's FAR too much redundancy between Apple and Sony for it to really make sense...

zikalify said,
Apple wont buy sony, nor will they acquire Facebook.

I totally agree.

I dont' think Apple may buy Sony/Disney/Adobe. They'll buy a co which has enterprise presence. They're already ruling the Consumer World. Now, they need to turn to the enterprise world. They may buy HP, being Oracle Larry's close friend, it'll benefit both Apple & Oracle. Even DELL is also a possibility. I'm not sure about purchasing power when it comes to HP/DELL.

jinishans said,

I totally agree.

I dont' think Apple may buy Sony/Disney/Adobe. They'll buy a co which has enterprise presence. They're already ruling the Consumer World. Now, they need to turn to the enterprise world. They may buy HP, being Oracle Larry's close friend, it'll benefit both Apple & Oracle. Even DELL is also a possibility. I'm not sure about purchasing power when it comes to HP/DELL.

Agreed.

If Apple buys Sony...I'm just going to say this is going to be exciting for Windows vs. Apple. I don't think they will though. It would be awesome though. MS will definitely need to pull all the stops for the next xbox and such. But anyways, dreams are dreams.

Zedox said,
If Apple buys Sony...I'm just going to say this is going to be exciting for Windows vs. Apple. I don't think they will though. It would be awesome though. MS will definitely need to pull all the stops for the next xbox and such. But anyways, dreams are dreams.

Notice Sony's new AIO PC in Microsoft's latest Windows 7 TV Ad? Sony buying Apple would be cannibalizing it's own PC business. One of them would have to go. Additionally, the almost dead Walkman brand would be officially dead.