Remember the rumors when Steve met with Google’s Eric Schmidt for coffee? Well, this one is another, perhaps even more fantastical story!
This one centers around Apple’s oft discussed cash hoard. Many believe that Apple sitting on piles of Billions of Dollars is unhealthy, and that they should use that money to grow their business. Some of these people work in Wall Street, and constantly mess up their predictions on what Apple’s future is too.
Apple do have a habit of going shopping from time to time. Most recently they bought various ARM related semi-conductor design boutiques to spearhead their own ARM based silicon development. Which resulted in the Apple A4 SoC used in the iPhone 4, current iPod Touch and the iPad.
Prior to that they bought some search and music related companies. Which are believed to be forming part of their future mobile search, product and lifestyle services for iOS devices.
And many years ago now they bought a small software company that produced the foundations of iTunes. But all these acquisitions have similar traits. They are small, relatively cheap startups, who are experts in a niche field.
Last week, Steve Jobs had Mark Zuckerberg (of Hollywood geek movie “The Social Network” fame, oh and the creator of Facebook) over to dinner at his place, and even went for a stroll with him. Most right thinking people thought it may well be related to ongoing negotiations regarding Facebook integration into Ping.
I wondered to myself if Steve was actually also going to give Mark some fatherly advice about being a tech firebrand in charge of such a gargantuan company. Perhaps even warn him about ways that he, the “visionary”, could be ousted from the board of his own company one day by a salesman, and his own fellow board members.
But some throw away comments from Steve Jobs have been analysed to death by Peter Kafka over at AllThingsD, and then regurgitated by a few other tech sites and the whole thing has snowballed into a rumor that Apple are in talks to buy Facebook.
Here is what Steve said when asked about Apple’s big pile of cash…
“We strongly believe that one or more very strategic opportunities may come along that we’re in unique opportunity to take advantage of because of our cash [and we want to keep our powder dry] because we feel that there are one or more [opportunities in the future].”
This could literally mean anything. Heck they might even be hoping to buy Google or Microsoft. But handing over Apple’s entire bundle of liquid assets to obtain Facebook is not going to happen. Apple could give away far less and have Facebook integrated into their iTunes, and even the entire iOS / OS X ecosystem.
Apple are not going to buy Facebook. Period. And even if they did want to (I can’t believe I even typed that) then Mark wouldn’t sell.
Of course, Steve could be planning to buy Facebook to simply shut it down. And if that is the case then I’ll happily chuck my shares in AAPL into the pot to help, if need be. You’ve got my email Steve.
Do you think Apple will buy Facebook? Have your say in the comments…