Cash-rich Apple should buy Twitter so it can finally add the social media components it's always lacked? That's some of the financial wisdom being spouted around Wall Street today.
Priced at about $9 billion, Apple could easily afford the microblogging site, but the fact is that Apple is a bit of a miser when it comes to money. The tech company has never paid more than $500 million for an acquisition, according to Mashable.
Sure, Tim Cook is a little looser with the purse strings and is handing out $45 billion in dividends, but Apple's $100 billion pile of cash is still expected to grow, so why not, Tim?
It would be a huge break with tradition, but it would also remedy Apple's lack of a social outlet and the Ping debacle. And Apple has already integrated Twitter into its new OS X Mountain Lion, so why not make it official?
It may be because Apple doesn't do social and it's leery of jumping into the arena with little or no experience. Also, what would Twitter bring to Apple as an acquisition that it can't get simply as an integrated piece of software? It's arguable that Apple doesn't need to own and control a microblogging site to benefit from it.
And while Mashable suggests that Apple is reluctant because it might jeopardize its relationship with Facebook -- we don't think that is the case. The real reason is likely because Apple has no experience in managing social media and Twitter desperately needs a firm hand if it is expected to grow. Apple likes a sure thing, so buying Twitter would not only be the biggest financial risk for the company but also the biggest cultural risk. What if it fails? What would that mean to the Apple brand? That kind of failure and criticism may be too ego-shattering for a company that thrives on its rabid fans and an often overly eager and positive press.
Published at 1:29 PM PST on Mar 23, 2012