One of the first in my list would be Blackmagic Design
What's your list of companies Apple will likely not buy but you'd love them to?
It's always hard to go through the details of how successful an acquisition would be. On the internet, it's easy to suggest buying one company or another but unless there's a direct benefit for either party involved, it's about as meaningful as suggesting that any employee at a company should be fired, promoted, demoted etc.
It's not always the right thing for smaller companies to sell out to a bigger company. Some companies are small because they have a small target audience and if they stay profitable, there's no immediate reason to sell out. If I had a highly respected and profitable business I don't think I'd sell out to Apple if it was a company I deeply cared about because I'd be volunteering to follow someone else's agenda instead of my own. If I did decide to sell and it was a company I cared about, there would have to be terms stating that I'd retain full control but Apple might not allow that to happen.
Apple tried to buy DropBox and was turned down, Yahoo tried to buy Facebook and was turned down. Some companies just won't sell out no matter the price. In some cases, the money doesn't matter; in others, they can make more going it alone.
Apple successfully bought a whole load of professional software companies and ruined/EOL'd/dumbed down a few of those products and improved some of them. You can't tell how it would work out. If they bought Blackmagic, do you think Da Vinci would survive or end up like Color? Stripped down and patched into FCPX.
What I'd like to see Apple doing is helping tackle really important problems. What Steve Perlman said about Silicon Valley companies focusing too much on social media instead of solving really hard problems is not only accurate but he demonstrates how to go about it.
Transport needs to be overhauled, TV distribution, food provision, we need better interfaces with productive computers, we need ubiquitous wifi, better home energy provision and more. Apple can be involved in some of them but they aren't going to be the answer to everything. Everything won't suddenly become better by being part of Apple.
On one hand, sitting with so much static cash isn't very interesting but I also don't want to see the possibility of them ever struggling financially. Look at what they did recently - $14b dropped in two weeks on a share buyback. That's what happens when they spend cash the wrong way.
They could have bought LG with that and instantly taken control of a major display supplier with a strong presence in the TV sector. It's close to being enough to buy Sony. They'd need a bit more for Tesla. Netflix is in this region but isn't worth its market cap in a buyout as it doesn't have enough of a unique selling point. Square Enix is only $2b and could be an exclusive games studio for iOS and Mac - Tomb Raider 2013 alone sold 6 million copies, if someone had to buy an iPad or Mac to play the next one, they would and millions of hardware sales plus the software sales could pay for the purchase with 3 hit titles.
Tim said they looked at buyout options and decided there wasn't anything worth buying. There's something up with that Tesla meeting though. Why would Apple's mergers and acquisitions talk with them? If it was just CarPlay, Elon wouldn't have to cover it up with not being able to comment due to being a public company.
I either didn’t know this or had forgotten. Either way, somewhere a utopian world exists where this happened and Yahoo! ran it into the ground.
And in some, principles don’t matter at all!
Ooh, I forgot about acquisitions in that regard. I still think that Apple offering smart home functionality would be huge. Not sure who (if anyone) they’d acquire to do that, though.
Unreal engine is owned by Epic games and used in lots of major AAA games ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Unreal_Engine_games ) and Unreal 4 had the photorealistic real-time lighting demos on Tegra K1:
Unity 5 has some of the same features:
A Chinese company bought 40% of Epic with $330m:
XCode is fairly low-level and while they added Sprite Kit in iOS 7 to help, that's just 2D.
The issue with 3rd party IDEs is they have to translate from their code into native code. This allows them to deploy to multiple platforms but it's harder to get the benefits of using Apple's frameworks at the same time.
If they bought Epic and shipped Unreal as the default games IDE and took out the ability to publish to some competing platforms, the games industry might avoid using it but they wouldn't have to do this. Right now, games that make over a certain amount means 25% gets paid to Epic. Apple could just waive the fee for games published to iOS and Mac.
Although going with a single developer limits them somewhat if a better 3rd party engine comes along, Epic has a pretty good track record of titles and visually, games are converging to the same as post-production engines.
Square Enix has their own one too:
The Unreal editor looks very powerful though (check the end of the video where he changes the jump height of the character without resetting the game, it just updates his real-time testing when it's done compiling):
This has applications beyond games because with that kind of interactive rendering along with their OpenGL 4 support, they can do advanced graphics in FCPX and Motion.
Improving the development tools on OS X would make it a more appealing platform to develop games on.
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From a largely emotional standpoint, I would love to see Apple purchase Nintendo.
Here are a couple of basic reasons:
1 - Gaming Space Growth
There's no question that Apple sees the inherent value in video games, as evidenced by the volume of sales on App Store. At this stage Apple have no internal content production capability and no way to drive gaming innovation on their own platforms; a Nintendo acquisition would solve this problem and immediately give Apple a powerful leverage in the gaming space across all platforms.
Gaming as often been used as a mechanism to introduce new platforms and new concepts to consumers, and I think an Apple/Nintendo partnership would be very powerful in this regard.
2 - The Living Room
There has clearly been a major competition for "the living room" for many years. Both Sony and Microsoft were not traditionally "video game companies", but both businesses understood the power of video games to establish a strong living room presence (and the way in which this can be used to leverage other IP like music and movies).
Apple have toyed with the living room space with Apple TV (which is actually no slouch in terms of sales, even though Apple refer to it as a hobby project). Nintendo have enormous expertise in this sector, having had a long history of market leadership in the area (Wii U notwithstanding - for now).
If you look at Wii U even (and allow me to digress for a moment), two key problems with the console relate to hardware design and branding. Apple could tackle these issues, I think. Combining Apple's industrial design and engineering capability with Nintendo's software could be an incredible combination.
Also, from Nintendo's point of view, Apple could provide massive support in terms of network infrastructure and services (something Nintendo badly needs to outsource).
3 - Shared Philosophy
If I had to add a third reason, I'd say that both companies likely understand each other's approach. That is to say, both companies are highly concerned with issues like:
- Value (not cheapness, but value)
- Inherent connection of form and function
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Might be a stretch, but these are companies I wouldn't mind Apple buying:
Interesting point about games on OS X, Marvin.
Also interesting about Nintedo, Ingsoc. $17B is a lot of money though. And that's if the smell of an acquisition didn't skyrocket the market cap. All things considered I think Marvin's idea that Apple purchase a high-level IDE it's more suited to Apple inn 2014. I know, I know, I mentioned companies you'd love Apple to buy, so Nintendo is a perfect fix for that, but I think it'd make more sense were Nintendo at a $2B market cap or something.
I guess the reason why I'd like to see Apple purchase BMD is lots of their products would fit in well with Apple's. DaVinici Resolve would be the perfect technological addition to the FCPX suite. And by Apple making a professional consumer accessible cinema camera and selling a Colour app with DaVinci technology built in they might very well be able to provide a turnkey solution for amateur filmmakers. AND it would sell many more Macs and professional machines for Apple too.
Imagine visiting this link http://www.apple.com/pro/ and seeing "photo editing", "film production" and "music production" tabs containing all the Apple and their party products you would need to achieve either those three goals at a professional level. With Apple made pro cameras and extras and buy buttons all over the place.
Edited by Ireland - 4/5/14 at 4:46am