More so than any other company, rumors regarding Apple's future plans and products attract an incredible amount of attention. The problem with this appetite for all things Apple is that sometimes people get so carried away in the hype of a sensational rumor that they don't take the time to actually think about the veracity of the rumor itself.
A perfect example of this happened earlier this week when rumors of Apple purchasing Twitter starting making the rounds on the web. There are a million reasons why Apple purchasing Twitter makes absolutely no sense at all, but a large portion of the tech blogosphere jumped on the rumor anyways, and started concocting outlandish reasons as to why Apple purchasing Twitter actually made sense.
The fact of the matter is that Apple rarely acquires other companies. In the last 6 and a half years, Apple purchased a grand total of 3 companies. Also, when Apple decides to acquire a company, the rationale behind the purchase is typically easy to discern as the acquired technology tends to fit into Apple's product pipeline or roadmap. Furthermore, Apple is not the type of company that spends an inordinate amount of money gobbling up company after company simply because they want to buy "cool" technology. Each purchase is well thought out, and again, fits into Apple's long term product plans. And finally, the amount of money Apple forks over in acquiring these companies is always within the realm of reasonableness.
Now, the Apple purchasing Twitter rumor fails to meet all of the above criteria. First, there really is no logical explanation as to what Apple would have to gain from purchasing Twitter. Simply because people love tweeting from their iPhones is not a valid explanation. Second, Twitter is currently the "hot item" in tech these days, and as I mentioned earlier, Apple is the last company to purchase another company simply because it currently happens to be popular. Lastly, and in what should have been a dead giveaway to people who jumped on the Apple/Twitter bandwagon, was the rumored price Apple was willing to pay for Twitter - upwards of $700 million.
As a point of reference, when Apple bought NeXT in 1997, they paid $400 million in what remains their most expensive acquisition to date. Apple's second most expensive acquisition came in 2008 when it purchased the boutique chip design firm P.A. Semi for $268 Million. Taking the Apple/Twitter rumor at face value puts a price tag on Twitter that surpasses the combined total Apple paid for NeXT and P.A. Semi.
With that in mind, its amazing that the rumor of Apple purchasing Twitter for $700 Million got as much traction as it did. At the same time, it also serves as a reminder that when it comes to rumors involving Apple, it's always wise to take a step back and think critically before jumping to sensationalist conclusions.