1. Hewlett-Packard. No joke. I’d buy them largely to get ahold of their memristor technology (and patents) and use it to put everyone else up against the wall. Good luck matching an iPhone with 100TB of data storage when the most you can muster is 256GB.
2. Nintendo. This would be a play strictly for the intellectual property. Keep their game creation team together and going, but make it for iOS devices. Also, use this as a core for turning AppleTVs into game consoles — including a Mario and a Zelda game at no extra cost = goldmine.
3. SmartThings. Honestly, I think it makes sense rather than to try to define a framework for a bunch of different manufacturers, to get in on the game and make your own stuff and provide an open standard so manufacturers can create compatible devices. Smart homes are the future — maybe not now, but within 5 years, I suspect they’ll be as prevalent as iPhones are now.
4. Yahoo! Apple has a severe problem in that it has no f–king clue as to how to create useful/popular web services. Having Yahoo’s braintrust would go a long way in solving this. Whether or not Apple should move beyond devices and their associated OS/software, well, that’s another question in its entirety.
5. Something unusual. I like the idea of Apple creating a Labs group like Google does. Something to span tech outside of just computing. It would be cool to find a small company that’s a bit “out there” or trying to be bleeding edge. Maybe a spaceflight company? A materials research company? Something.