When it was announced last year that Apple was sitting on nearly $100 billion in cash, the speculation started flying as to what they would do with that money. Everything from buying Nintendo or Sony to try to get into the video game market, to buying Facebook and Twitter. In reality with that much money they could really afford to buy all 4 of them.
Apple now has a plan as to how it is going to spend some of it's vast "Money Bin" fortune. They announced last week that they will be issuing a dividend for the first time in 15 years. The dividend will pay $2.50 a share and will equal about $15 billion a year. They also announced a plan to spend $10 billion of its own hoard to buy back shares over the next three fiscal years.
Well now as the dust has settled and the analysts can really start looking at the data, Twitter looks like the obvious choice for Apple to acquire. Apple decided to do what they have never done before and that is to integrate Twitter, a third party service, completely into their operating system. This is weird because Apple has become famously known for being extremely controlling when it comes to their technology.
Twitter is estimated to be worth about $9 billion dollars, so if the acquisition were to happen, Apple would face little or no problems buying them. So why the holdup? According to Barry Ritholtz, a widely followed financial analyst and blogger, it is about the culture at Apple. "Up to now, they have never spent more than $500 million on an acquisition and the vast majority of its deals have been small, tactical purchases of specific technology."
Barry goes on to say that the purchase of Twitter does 3 things:
1. They become a competitive player in Social Networking instantly;
2. They fix Ping, and begin to monetize it;
3. Most importantly, Twitter is kept from the hands of Google, Facebook and Microsoft.
So for now, it seems fairly unlikely that Apple will purchase Twitter. The most likely candidate seems to be Google as they look to expand their Google+.