The Three Companies Apple Should Acquire

Adobe: Cringely said it and I still agree. It would put an end to the argument over the lack of Flash on the iPhone, give Apple a lock on online video (every site uses Flash Video), and also position Apple to immediately dominate and lead in eBooks. (Apple’s entry into eBooks would also legitimize the field in a way no other company has been able to accomplish. It would vaporize the Kindle.)

MySpace: Apple = youth. The young are on MySpace. MySpace is a nasty mess as it is and could use Apple’s design expertise to clean it up. It would also be a new place to embed the iTunes Store so bands can sell their music directly to fans (as well as give the small cadre of videomakers a sales outlet; there are also a lot of professional writers on MySpace, which would boost Apple-led eBook sales). It would give Disney, Pixar, and Apple itself a new marketing outlet. MySpace tied into the iPhone would be a killer, killer combination. Forget Facebook. That’s for stiffs. The younger demographic of MySpace is more engaged in social activities than the aging and married Facebook crowd can ever be.

WordPress: Google has Blogger. Even if Apple is planning to improve blogging on its dotMac service, WordPress is the best route to go. It’s well-known and is a blogging leader. As well as tying WordPress deeply into the iPhone, Apple could also embed it in MySpace (which has a truly wretched blogging system). WordPress (and I’m talking about the free blogging service I use) is already used by major corporations. Apple’s iPhone (and other products) would become the defacto hardware to use for mobile blogging.

These three acquisitions would complement so many things that Apple is currently doing and extend Apple’s brand awareness, expertise, and influence in ways not otherwise possible.

And tell the truth: Wouldn’t these acquisitions actually be hailed by everyone, unlike the dread produced by the specter of a merger between Microsoft and Yahoo?

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Explore posts in the same categories: eBooks, Music, MySpace, Tech - Apple, Tech - Microsoft, Tech - Other, Video - Online

12 Comments on “The Three Companies Apple Should Acquire”

  1. Sam Says:

    Adobe I agree with. It’s almost a no-brainer. The other two… from AppleLink Personal Edition (whose technology would become AOL but which Apple would fail to capitalize on) to the modern .Mac service, Apple seems wholly unable to understand or make a business out of an online service. I think they need to stick to their core competency of creating great platforms and desktop experiences and leave the online stuff to the experts.

  2. John E Says:

    Adobe makes sense, to join Final Cut for a complete ‘pro’ version of iLife. Adobe needs outside help now too. yes, merge Acrobat and Preview, and reinvent Flash with H264.

    but not the other two. they are tangents at best to Apple’s core.

    instead … TiVo. it’s got what AppleTV is missing right now, and will be a formidable competitor if they perfect their software and some other big outfit buys them first. Apple is a hardware company first of all, and TiVo is good cross-platform hardware with an established user base. and it has one aspect that Apple so far has eschewed – full CATV interface – plus a lot of valuable patents. Apple could afford to simply abandoned the monthly subscription fee, which is the main thing holding TiVo back right now, and rapidly build up market share instead. and as soon as possible, it would get a new Apple white box look.

  3. mikecane Says:

    Well, he could leave Tom in charge. But at least Apple could go in and redesign it so it no longer looks like some digital streetcorner in a low-rent neighborhood!

    And yes, I agree with your assessment of past online efforts. And, yeah, dotMac is, um, not terrific.

  4. iPC Says:

    The merge of these three companies and Apple would be great yes but it’s not exactly likely is it?
    The merger between Microsoft and Yahoo! would be great for both companies because:
    Yahoo! is centered around the user not necessarily the product. Microsoft is more centered around the technology and not necessarily the user experience. If these two companies combined then you would get the user friendliness of Yahoo! and the resources from Microsoft.

  5. Robert B. Says:

    Adobe will never happen. Apple should have acquired them in the ’80s, not now. Over half of Adobe’s business is on PCs and Apple doesn’t want to “support” Microsoft’s mess. Just look at how long it took Adobe to port Photoshop over to Intel Macs. They were a year late. That’s likely an indication that their code base is old, complex, and focused on Windows now. That code base isn’t worth acquiring when Apple could more easily build a competitor in house. Apple’s success is through a tight integration of software and OS X features. It allows them to progress with much fewer resources. Jobs would not put up with such a dual focus on the software side of the business that Adobe would present. As to the other business, I think Apple has their hands full with the near term project plans. The iPhone will become their biggest business while the TV side promises a major market and influence down the line. Next year should be big for the TV side.

  6. Zac Davis Says:

    I agree with Robert B., that Adobe cannot happen anymore. Jobs would never ever put up with multiplatforming the mess of Photoshop.

  7. mikecane Says:

    Of course this is all What-If. He could, for example, buy Adobe and spin out the stuff he didn’t want into a separate company. Apple did that with Claris and some software.

  8. zato Says:

    I agree about MySpace and WordPress. Not about Adobe. Apple wants QT Mp4 to be the web standard. Supporting Flash works against that. YouTube videos are now available in mp4 format. The rest will follow as the iPhone base expands. MySpace is a mess probably beyond any house cleaning even Apple could devise. But it does have a media/entertainment focus that would be helpful to iTunes. The entertainment people on MySpace (Bands, Musicians, Actors) would welcome Apple, but Apple would have to make a re-purposed iWeb app so that MySpace pages could be cleaned up.

  9. mikecane Says:

    Not being a video person, I always get confused about the Apple ones. Is QT MP4 the same as H.264?

    See, the thing is, most video sites are using FLV. YouTube went with accommodating the iPhone because what site given the chance wouldn’t? But Veoh, GUBA, and scads of others stick with FLV. And I don’t know if any of them even have a choice of doing what Google did.

  10. Casey Says:

    Apple should not buy MySpace… For one, it’s owned by the ‘evil’ media tycoon, Rupert Murdoch’s NewsCorp… Rupert bought it $327 million in July 2005. Secondly, FaceBook looks more ‘Apple-ish’, wouldn’t you agree? Cleanly designed, simple to use… It looks like Steve waved his wand.

    But what if Apple swaps MySpace for some equity investment from NewsCorp? “WallStreetJournal.mac”… “iFoxNewsReport” … What do you think? Fox News already created an iPhone site… are they hinting? …

    I agree that Apple should invest in Adobe. Not buy. Apple has enough on its plate, building computers, phones, music players and tv boxes. … An equity investment would ensure Apple keeps their lifeblood flowing: Graphic Designers and Videographers. What better way to keep us designers buying Apples? Design Creative Suite 4 (5, 6, 7, etc) to work more seamlessly in OSX…

    TiVo is a great investment too. They’re smaller and easier to integrate than Adobe, so an outright purchase seems logical. Build AppleTiVos…

  11. Shadow Merchant Says:

    “Forget Facebook. That’s for stiffs. The younger demographic of MySpace is more engaged in social activities than the aging and married Facebook crowd can ever be.”

    Well… My daughter, 15 years old, has both MySpace and Facebook accounts. She spends at least 10 times as many hours on Facebook, and says that in her crowd, MySpace is on its way out.

  12. zato Says:

    I’m no expert either, so I went to wikipedia:
    [H.264 is a standard for video compression. It is also known as MPEG-4 Part 10, or MPEG-4 AVC (for Advanced Video Coding).]

    I think there is a good chance other sites will accommodate the iPhone and Touch in time.

    If you want to see mp4 video on Youtube from your desktop, add the following to the end of the URL, then refresh:
    &fmt=18
    This will result in an mp4 hi-def video about double the file size.


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