Here’s a novel suggestion for how Apple could spend some of its huge stash of money… Buy Nintendo! Let’s examine why this could be such a great idea (besides the fact that the resulting company would probably have some really cool t-shirts.)
As David Talley of Motley Fool wrote back in 2011:
It upsets me to no end when I hear people talk about what companies Apple should acquire. It is usually an extremely overvalued business with extreme growth prospects but very little in actual profit or profit potential. My counter is always the same: if Apple is going to make a fairly large acquisition, they better be buying Nintendo.
Nintendo has a market cap of around $15.65 billion, so Apple could easily afford them, but what would they get in return?
Apple already has a thriving handheld gaming business with its iPods and iPads. There would be little in the way of value here aside from a few patents.
“Apple is looking to make its first real debut in the living room,” writes Talley, “a room that is at various times a place to casually enjoy television, a home theater, and a gaming center. I trust Apple will master the first two areas with its iTV, but I am skeptical they will introduce anything more than scaled up versions of iPod and iPad games to satisfy the third.”
He continues, “If Apple were to buy Nintendo, they would acquire valuable hardware, experience, and an audience. Nintendo has always been on the cutting edge of gaming. Their last round of innovation, the Wii, was the first to introduce motion control gaming. Admittedly, Microsoft‘s Kinect platform has since surpassed Wii’s technology, but I think it is fair to speculate that Nintendo is working on gaming technology somewhere between the Wii and Kinect.”
Apple would acquire a team well versed in video games. This is a team that has survived the onslaught of rivals like the Xbox and PlayStation. “Nintendo survived through superior innovation and strategy when their wallet did not allow them to compete. This team would be an extremely valuable asset to a company looking to make a successful entrance into gaming.”
He goes on to say that Apple would acquire an audience with the acquisition, “Nintendo’s audience is larger than the one Apple is aimed for: the casual gamer and the party gamer.”
Finally Apple would obtain an asset that may be more valuable than the others, Nintendo’s well known characters, such as Mario, Zelda, and Donkey Kong. Nintendo’s cast of characters are iconic, recognized around the world. “These titles would help push iPod and iPad sales and secure these platforms as gaming mainstays.”
Talley closes by saying he isn’t predicting any of this will happen, or even if Apple should do a deal like this, but he hopes if Apple does buy a company, that the company is Nintendo.