Monday, April 7, 2014

Where Should Apple Invest?

Today's NY Times ask the question, what should Apple do with over $150 billion in cash.  While Amazon is building a competitive OTT box and Google is releasing Google Glasses and building driverless cars, Apple has yet to announce its next new business.  We wait patiently for news about a wearable device or big screen TV, but since Steve Jobs' death, the "next big thing" has not yet come.

So what should Apple do, according to author Nick Bilton.  he considers an investment in Tesla as a possibility or the acquisition of a cellular company like Sprint or T Mobile or both.  And while content and distribution seem to best work hand in hand, Comcast will face its own uphill battle to acquire Time Warner Cable and stake its claim as the preeminent cable, broadband, and content company (NBCUniversal) in the land.

Most of us expect Apple to update its Apple TV box and to finally release a wearable divide, most likely to be called an iWatch.  But what about Apple partnering with Liberty Media and its investments around the world in cable including Charter Cable and DirecTv.   Or should Apple go even further and buy AT&T.   Why not buy TiVo and adapt is box to accept iTunes and Airplay.  The question on everyone's mind is what will the next device be that has the Apple brand attached to it.

Apple has a large chest of free cash ready to invest.  And while sitting on it is a defensive use for future uncertainty, Apple has be an innovator.  Yet lately, that innovation has lapsed and will continue to wait and see whether its future is one of new growth or retaining value.