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Commentary: Apple now Rich – Should it Buy Autodesk?

Well…technically this is just a cash thing. But even by that measure that is an impressive feat for a company that was struggling for its very life just 11 years ago. With its recent record quarterly profits Apple now has more than $25.5 billion in cash, more than Microsoft.

You gotta love the irony of this situation. Especially if you remember what Dell CEO and Founder, Michael Dell, said about a 11 years ago. He said Apple should just give up! Have a big fire sale and give all the money back to its shareholders. With Apple’s growing treasure of cash assets now exceeding $25 billion people are now speculating what companies Apple should acquire.

The Standard has a good article here. Of all the companies it mentions that Apple should buy the one I would agree makes the best sense is Nvidia. The graphics chip maker could be bought six times over with Apple’s available cash. Once more, Nvidia has been delivering superb new GPU and related technologies for the past few years, its CUDA architecture is of particular note. With Nvidia in Apple’s hands the geniuses within its PA Semi acquisition and the geniuses within Nvidia could do magical things together. It’s truly exciting to think about!

But There’s More…

I’ve been writing about specific acquisitions this past year that make sense strategically for protecting and growing Apple’s “Creatives” market. Specifically I’ve put out the notion that Apple should possibly buy Nemetschek AG of Germany as a solid AEC industry play. I’ve also written about a Gehry Technolgies buy. Both are interesting for a variety of reasons. And both would excite the AEC (architecture/engineering/construction) market and its millions of users.

So in light of that it’s interesting to see somebody outside of the CAD press discuss the idea that Apple should buy Autodesk. But that is just what David Morgenstern of ZDNet did today. Yes…it seems Apple’s big cash numbers have gotten the speculation engines oh-running. I can hear them churning across the blogosphere. The CAD blogs and press will no doubt pick up on this. It is always interesting when the general press catches up to what some of us in the CAD press have been saying.

Personally I’m not sure buying Autodesk would be a brilliant move for Apple. They would pay a premium for some de-facto industry standard apps that are in truth fairly mediocre at best. In time such apps will die-out. On the other hand, Morgenstern is correct is stating that  Apple’s approach to its customers is similar to Apple’s. This was the point I was making earlier in the year.

Would an Apple-Autodesk or Apple-Nvidia acquisition make sense to you? Login and share you thoughts below.