This morning I had a crazy thought. What if Apple bought Yahoo!? Well, they can and if you ask me, they should. Why?
I will come to the why, but firstly can Apple afford to buy Yahoo? With $159 billion in cash reserve, they can afford to buy anything on earth they want. Going by their current standing, Yahoo definitely is not worth much, specially if you remove Alibaba and Yahoo Japan, its two key assets.
Now coming to the why. Apple does a phenomenal job of integrating hardware and software and selling every device at a mind boggling price. But with evolution of the human species, there will come a time when people will no longer want to buy these high margin products. We are already seeing that trend setting in in the smartphone segment. So how should the Apple story continue if and when that happens? Apple should focus now on stuff that people love to do with the devices they buy and look at monetising that.
What do people love to do with the devices they buy? Apart from walking around like they own the world, most Apple users use their devices to take shit loads of photographs, watch videos and spend inordinate amount of time on social networks. Hand on heart, can you think of anything else? I certainly can’t.
Here in lies the opportunity. Yahoo owns damn neat products such as Flickr and Tumblr. Can you imagine what would happen if they were to be integrated with Apple's existing offerings? All photos / videos shot on iPhone could get saved in Flickr as a default option. As an amateur photographer I could kill for the combination : world’s best smartphone camera + one of the best photo sharing sites as a combined package! Imagine Yahoo’s search content (which is not bad by the way) accessible via an interface such as Siri. Will such a service be unique? No. Siri already pulls its content from Bling and Yahoo. One can access whatever service they want via their Apple device. But will it still be a winner? Yes, purely on the basis of the world beating user experience that only Apple can provide. Bingo! Integrating Yahoo’s services with Apple’s user experience capability could just be the next best thing for Apple to do!
Above all, if Merissa hangs around after the merger, she and Tim will make a great pair. Her passionate enthusiasm combined with his methodical no nonsense leadership style, might just help to keep Apple where it belongs…always on top!