After Beats, who should Apple buy next? We've got some ideas

Apple in 2023
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Apple has made significant purchases of companies in the past - one of its biggest being Beats Music in 2014. But we think it’s now time for another big acquisition to happen.

The company is well known for getting its co-founder, Steve Jobs back by purchasing his NeXT computer company in 1996, bringing it back from the brink of bankruptcy and becoming the monolith we see today.

However, you can’t help but notice that while Beats Music enhanced Apple’s music capabilities and audio hardware, there are other categories where it could improve again by buying another company.

With this in mind, the iMore team has had a think and decided upon certain companies that Apple could use to bolster its armory even more.


Redeem My Nintendo Gold Points Mario

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John-Anthony Disotto — How to Editor

I’ve been vocal about Apple’s lack of love for gaming for a long time, and now I have an opportunity to tell the company exactly what it should spend its money on – Nintendo.

I just want to see what Apple could do in the gaming industry if it put the effort in rather than something like Apple Arcade or gaming on Mac, which, let’s be real, both feel like afterthoughts.

Of the big three gaming console manufacturers, Nintendo seems the most likely, so for this particular opinion, we’ll focus on the most beloved gaming hardware manufacturer and developer rather than the best.

Buying a company like Nintendo would allow Apple to put its weight into the gaming landscape and get creative alongside the masterminds behind Super Mario and The Legend of Zelda to create magic. I see a lot of similarities between Apple and Nintendo and think they could work together to create products and games that would feel and play outside the box.

Deliveroo or Uber Eats

Deliveroo app on iPhone

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Tammy Rogers — Staff Writer

Apple, don’t just offer same-day delivery with Uber Eats – buy that or another similar service outright. Make it unavailable on Android. Make it so annoying to get a hold of for non-iPhone users that they wish they had an iPhone in their pocket. Let me ask Siri to order a chicken korma with a large portion of rice and a big garlic naan while I’m crunched up on the sofa watching TV, too lazy to get my phone from the coffee table in front of me.

Make my life easier at the expense of others, please.

In all seriousness, it’s a wonder that Apple hasn’t yet dipped its big Californian toes into the fast-food delivery space. They have so many users on iPhone that would use it and even more that might switch if the experience is good enough. There are even different, ready-made apps that it could buy, like Uber Eats or Deliveroo. Maybe, just maybe, we could even buy tasty Apple-themed treats. Maybe.


Clicker on Disney Plus on macOS

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Stephen Warwick — News Editor

Steve Jobs was a founding father of Pixar, which was bought by Disney back in 2006 for a cool $7.4 billion. In 2023, it’s time to bring this narrative full circle with Apple’s acquisition of Disney.

There are some huge reasons why this might be a good idea. For starters, Disney is valued at north of $200 billion, making the size of the purchase a stretch even for cash-flush Apple. As analysts have noted, there’s also the question of Disney’s rather thin margins, which are much smaller than Apple’s operating margins of around 30%. But, technicalities aside, Disney would turn Apple into an unstoppable force in the tech and entertainment industry. So much so that it would likely never get past antitrust regulators - eat your heart out, Microsoft and Activision Blizzard.

Acquiring Disney would land Apple 162 million Disney+ subscribers and all of its content, 25 million ESPN+ subscribers, and 48 million Hulu subscribers, not to mention all of the content that goes with that.

It would also bring into the fold ABC News and give Apple access to IP, including Marvel and a small, obscure space franchise called “Star Wars”. Apple acquiring Disney would turn the company into an absolute monolith of hardware and service-based products that would destroy everything in its path.


Apple Music and Spotify playing 2 Become 1 by the Spice Girls

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Daryl Baxter — Features Editor

I’ll just say it - Apple Music is a mess, and it feels like it’s been in some sort of mess since its debut in 2015. After purchasing Beats, the Music app was redesigned to handle music streaming to take on Spotify, TiDAL, and others. But eight years later, its curation and look still feel unfinished.

And that’s not even going into the recently-released Apple Classical app, where it’s iPhone only, and you can’t download a track. This is why I believe Apple should merge its Apple Music department with a purchase of Spotify.

Its app is leagues apart from Apple Music - its user interface feels fresh and intuitive, and curation feels more powerful and genuine to your tastes, and its ‘Look Back’ feature at the end of every year is useful and, funny. Granted, Apple does its own take now with ‘Replay’, but it feels too little too late.

Spotify also has its own podcast network, which it keeps integrated into the same app. While Apple split this off into a standalone app in 2012, that also feels like it needs more love. Nevertheless, Spotify has proved that both formats in one app work, so Apple, let's see a purchase.

Making it rain again

Apple’s track record of buying companies has been strong - from NeXT to Beats Music, and even Shazam, the music-recognition platform. But with its rivals like Meta and Google investing millions of dollars into VR, AR, and everything else, there’s no harm in getting help from an established company that knows its category from top to bottom.

More investment in its apps for gaming and music would massively bolster its capabilities and in turn, with games especially, make developers want to develop for Apple’s devices. But with WWDC 2023 a month away, there’s always a chance Apple has already bought a prolific company that could bring seismic change to one of these categories, and if that’s the case, watching this year’s keynote could be one to remember.

IM Staff
The collective iMore hivemind is your source for all things Apple, and the IM Staff author represents our collective hivemind, for those occasions when the whole team speaks with one voice to bring you important updates about the site, editorial policies, awards, promotions and more. 

The iMore team of Apple enthusiasts and experts shows you how to get the most out of your tech life by using Apple products and the apps, services, and devices they connect with to their fullest. iMore is a mainstay in the Apple community for good reason. Every single iMore writer and editor takes their job seriously, and we prioritize accuracy and editorial independence in everything we do, never receiving compensation for coverage and never pulling punches.

As well as our amazing group of regular contributors, the iMore staff team currently consists of: Gerald Lynch — Editor-in-Chief Stephen Warwick — News Editor Daryl Baxter — Features Editor John-Anthony Disotto — How To Editor Tammy Rogers — Senior Staff Writer James Bentley — Staff Writer

With contributions from
  • Wotchered
    Apple should be very careful to only acquire companies that make things. And never to get involved in the monopolies morass which is designed to enrich lawyers, and not to help litigants.