Monday, May 12, 2014

Apple Beats The Wearables But Needs More Acquisitions

Of all the talk about Apple releasing a wearable product like an iWatch, perhaps the planned acquisition of Beats and their headphones could count, too.  The more I think about a "connected" watch, the less excited I seem to get.  For those of us who are watch wearers, I am not sure I would want to replace it on my wrist.  So I would have to think it would occupy my opposite wrist should I ever consider buying one.  And for those who use their smartphones as their timepiece, I wonder if they would finally succumb to a smart wrist watch.  And lastly, I think I would get aggravated plugging in my watch every evening, next to my iPad and iPhone.  So now I would need a third outlet and cord.  Yes, the more I think about an iWatch, the less enamored I become.

At the same time, the news that Apple wants to acquire Beats, their hardwear and streaming subscription service, seems like a logical fit to the Apple music model and a natural extension to its own line of iPod, iPhone, and iPad products.  For those seeking a better set of speakers and headphones, Beats is a good fit.  Plus the talent of its owners could play well in the Apple sandbox. 

Perhaps Apple should also consider more synergistic business opportunities to extend its brand across more platforms.  And with that in mind, why not look to acquire Sirius Radio as a means to truly be mobile, as in the automobile space.  Use its satellite technology to drive Apple usage for radio and subscription product.  Need another acquisition target, Apple should look at TiVo.  It is the ultimate cable and OTT set top box and could be a great big step into the cable infrastructure.  In the payment space, Apple could look at PayPal or even Square, a product that already fits well with Apple's devices.   They may not be wearables, but each of these companies offer subscription or usage based revenue to grow. 

Unless Apple can make an iWatch a must have product, something others have yet to figure out, its efforts may best be served in acquiring more companies in the streaming and digital space.  For me, a Beats acquisition makes great sense for Apple.  But we all want to know, what's next. 

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