As I was describing in a previous post, Apple approach is to build a fully integrated business model from the chip to the application distribution on your device.
If we imagine Apple pursuing this approach in 2011 and beyond what could their next move? With a $50B treasure chest it opens up some nice opportunities.
If they want to move up stream in the value chain, Arm might be the right target. They would then control the microcode and the design of their A4 chips as well as most of the chips outside of Intel x86 architecture. This acquisition would create a real electroshock in the mobile industry to say the least.
If they want to move downstream TomTom might be another right target. They would enter the PND market maybe not the most flourishing one, but still a large one. By buying TomTom they would grab TeleAtlas one of the 2 providers of maps to the industry. The other one, NavTeq beeing the property of Nokia. This would give them a competitive advantage for the iPhone. They would be able to give away a nice navigation service and a bundle it with their obile app engine.
Let’s keep tuned, Apple is due to swallow a big fish in the coming months.