Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has never made a really big acquisition. The company has spent half a billion here and there, but it’s never bothered to go on the kind of splurge that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has in recent years, with its acquisitions of Skype and, more recently, Nokia’s hardware business.
Now the perfect opportunity is on the table. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) should be first in line to pick up Blackberry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY), the Canadian smart phone maker that put itself up for sale recently. Fans of the Cupertino company may disagree, but this isn’t about putting a full Qwerty keyboard on the iPhone, it’s about shoring up Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) where it has been weak by tradition.
Apple and enterprise
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has never managed to woo the gigantic enterprise market with its line of computers. The company’s iPhone and iPad are doing better, particularly with many firms instituting a “bring your own device” policy, but it could be doing better. Blackberry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) excelled because no matter what smart phone a user might prefer, a Blackberry was needed at work. Microsoft pulled the same trick with Office and Windows.
Blackberry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) software is still used in many corporate environments because its usability and security features are perfect for that environment. With the company teetering the brink, many companies have been forced to go elsewhere. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) could bring back the Blackberry Ltd. (NASDAQ:BBRY) brand with its own hardware.
Competition heating up
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) might not have been as headless as the market seems to be assuming in picking up the Nokia Corporation (NASDAQ:NOK) hardware business. It wants to offer an integrated service package to enterprise clients, and Microsoft Exchange may become the new gold standard in the area.
Blackberry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) still has one of the best brands in enterprise despite the poor quality of its most recent offerings. The real problem for the company is that corporate clients are worried whether the company will be around in five years to provide the same level of service and regular updates.
There is a clear opportunity for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in the space, though it will take some engineering to get right. Another positive is that a large acquisition might show investors the company has something to spend its cash on. That might reduce the amount of clamoring for a larger buyback.