Apple Could End Smartphone Wars By Buying The Rest Of The Industry In Cash

Apple Could End Smartphone Wars By Buying The Rest Of The Industry In Cash

Apple might not have more money than God (yet), but come the end of this quarter, they are likely to have so much cash flowing from their coffers that, if they had a mind to, they could buy the entire mobile phone industry.

The report by market research firm Asymco uses a few assumptions to get to that conclusion, but they foresee that in roughly two weeks, Apple will have a cash pile of $70 billion.

Right now, that $70 billion is only enough to buy Nokia, RIM, HTC and Motorola, but given the way Apple’s profit margins have been increasing, it’s possible that five years down the line, Apple could swallow every mobile company out there whole if it wanted to.

Not that that would ever happen. Absorbing so many inefficient, visionless companies would just slow Apple down, and the regulators would cry bloody murder. Still, it’s fascinating to put Apple’s success as a lean, mean smartphone maker in perspective: their empire is built on the back of one phone, and yet could swallow up most of the competition after just five years.

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  • bplano

    That would be considered monopoly though… wouldn’t it?

  • Tallest_Skil

    I haven’t ever really had much of a problem with the stories here before.

    But the person who wrote this needs fired. This is called ‘monopolizing’. Not only is it illegal, it’s the most idiotic thing I’ve ever heard.

    Competition. Forces. Good. Prices. And actual innovation. And new features. And better devices.

    Apple isn’t saintly good. Apple wouldn’t keep the iPhone at $199 if it was the only smartphone available (in some parallel dimension where monopolies are allowed).

    Without ANY competition, Apple wouldn’t update ever. There would be no need to do so. I can’t believe I even have to SAY this stuff.

    Seriously, reprimand the author. This is inexcusable.

  • Rick

    Please check the spelling in the article title: “By”, not “Buy”.  Otherwise, interesting post!

  • quietstorms

    Relax. The point of the story is to show how Apple is taking home most of the profits of the mobile industry. Apple couldn’t buy all of these companies and who would want to buy them? They’re on the downside and any value they do have comes from patents.

    ” 

  • quietstorms

    Relax. The point of the story is to show how Apple is taking home most of the profits of the mobile industry. Apple couldn’t buy all of these companies and who would want to buy them? They’re on the downside and any value they do have comes from patents.

    ” 

  • MediaUnbalance

    Did you read the last paragraph before you commented? 

  • John Merrigan

    Deleted.

  • AgirlyGirl

    Relax. 

    The author was just mentioning how much cash Apple has, which is enough to buy out major competitors. They’re not implying that Apple will do it, but theoretically Apple could become a monopoly in the Smartphone industry. Obviously it won’t happen, and we obviously know the consequences of a monopoly. The author is just stating it, as it is. I don’t see anything wrong with what the author said.  

    Seriously, you need to relax. 

  • Wayne_Luke

    Just a small note here…. Apple sells the iPhone 4 (16GB) for roughly $649 in the United States. Probably less with bulk purchases. The Carriers then subsidize that price over the cost of your two year contract. This enables you to get the phone for $199.00 upfront. Even if Apple were the only manufacturer, competition between carriers would keep phones subsidized.

    I agree with the rest of your comments but like other’s I don’t think the intent of this article is that Apple would do this or be able to get it through regulatory approval.

  • Chris

    That would be very bad for the competition and would just increase the number of apple-haters

  • Anthony

    “Not that that would ever happen. Absorbing so many inefficient, visionless companies would just slow Apple down, and the regulators would cry bloody murder.”
    Just figured you skimmed over it, so I thought it should be posted again. 

  • Amanda Jane Apodaca

    Your assumptions might not be correct.  The analysis should be how much cash would it take to buy the PHONE business of these companies.  Many of these companies are involved in quite disparate businesses.

  • Thomas sutton

    Be kl if they brought out rim (someone should) so they would own BBM and combine it with imessage 

  • 300AShareMakesMeSmile

    Why would buying a couple of other phone companies be considered a monopoly?  There would still be other companies as long as Apple doesn’t buy them all.  Besides, if Apple just bought one key company, the rest would be left relatively weak.

    Apple should really try to purchase Oracle’s IP patents that pertain to Android.  Oracle doesn’t seem to be doing anything about those patents but maybe Apple could to shut down Android.  I don’t know what the hell Oracle is doing if it’s not going protect its own patents.

  • aga

    I think this just shows how much profit Apple make on their kit. Overpriced? Sure!

  • Guest

    are you retarded, he didn’t say they should, he just said that Apple could, you couldn’t be more stupid.

  • Adrian Werner

    So bassicaly this can happen only assuming that:
    -Apple will keep growing as fast as it did in last few years (which realistically isn’t likely)
    -All those other companies will stop growing.

  • Terry

    I think it is also noteworthy that HTC is worth more than Nokia. Regardless of Apple’s nice results the past few years, HTC has been very doing well too.

  • Tysons

    It’s funny how you tried to sound smarter by your use of grammer and larger words. Any idiot could post what you have with 9th Grade English under their belt. The true sign that you’re a moron though is how you’ve gone about your rant when it is blatantly obvious you haven’t read the article; and if you did, you’ve only chosen to read the bits which are of most interest to you. 

    Your stupidity is inexcusable. 

  • madhatter61

    It is interesting how many forums have picked up this notion.  But unforturnately it doesn’t stand a chance of happening.  A waste of space.  Apple needs some competition, as does everyone.
    What I would really like to see is a law that makes sueing unconstitutional… which is really is.  

  • Peterli

    Apple is pure shit. the quality sucks and pople buyinh the products are idiots.

  • Rsmp1983

    Are people retarded on here!…. This is just telling how much apple are worth and what their money could do! apple would never want to buy the other companies nor would they be allowed to.

    Think about what you type before typing!…….. IDIOTS!

  • bd7349

    I agree, his stupidity is inexcusable.

  • Fernando H Rosa

    dup

  • Fernando H Rosa

    Yeah. There is a reason for antitrust/monopoly regulations.

    I for one I am no fan of apple products and would have no option of smarphones if that were to happen. It would be just wrong not giving people any choices and it baffles me that someone would even cultivate the idea. As much as I prefer the Android plattform, I’d never want it to be the single player on the market. I feel that a level of competition is always desirable to keep companies inovating and bringing new products to the market.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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