Apple Could Buy Facebook, Twitter, Zynga, Others with Its $51B

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Apple Could Buy Facebook, Twitter, Zynga, Others with Its $51B

by Clint Boulton

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Facebook

Right now Google and Apple are sparring for the mobile Web. Apple could tip the balance in its favor by purchasing social network giant Facebook. Think of that massive social network supported by mobile devices. The world would be connected 24/7.

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Yahoo

OK, this may be a stretch. While Facebook provides one single major utility for Apple to work with, Yahoo is a messy portal of products. But it has a search engine, supported by Microsoft Bing, that Apple could use to battle Google. Jobs may be the guy to whip the company into shape, something current Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz and previous leader Jerry Yang failed to do. Turning Yahoo around would be the biggest feat in high-tech history since, well, Jobs revived Apple.

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Electronic Arts

Yes, the game maker. Imagine the marriage of EA's games with the iPhone and iPad. That would pair awesome content with awesome consumer gadgets. Kaufman analyst Shaw Wu gets this hat tip.

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Netflix

Since we're on content, Apple has also snagged cloud music provider LaLa, so why not Netflix, with whom Apple already enjoys a partnership that has helped sell 250,000 Apple TV boxes? The streaming subscriptions plans could be endless. This is also a Wu speculation.

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ARM Holdings

A chip maker wouldn't hurt, though Apple seems to be doing just fine with the existing partnership, thanks to the ARM-powered A4 chip set.

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Gist Social Profile Site

Gist has done some really cool things with social network profiles. The company is begging to be bought.

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Digg Needs a Turnaround

For the same reason that Yahoo needs a turnaround fast and a leader who can provide it, Digg is hurting. Co-founder Kevin Rose admitted his team rushed out the new social features, and now users are in revolt. Jobs can lift the company and perhaps build out a serious social network. In case Facebook cost too much or CEO Mark Zuckerberg wouldn't sell, of course.

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Feeding on Twitter

OK, so Twitter might not be the best starter social service, but it's got a known microblog service and the talent behind it to wipe Google off the face of the social map.

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Zynga

This is interesting for a number of reasons. It would be cheaper than EA and would help Apple build out its cloud Web services after LaLa. Imagine tighter integrations between Zynga on the iPhone and iPad. Of course, there is the $100 million investment in Zynga from Google to worry about, but taking Zynga out of play from Google could provide a big boost for Apple in the mobile Web war.

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Good Technology

Let's come back to earth a bit. With the iPhone becoming a more prevalent part of the enterprise worker, Apple could use some mobile device management software expertise. With Sybase picked up by SAP, Apple might be able to pry Good Technology from its owner Visto. Interestingly, Good was previously owned by Apple rival Motorola, whose Android smartphones are giving the iPhone a run for its money.

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