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It's always fun to play the "what company should Apple buy?" game. I have a new suggestion: Sharp, a major supplier of LCD displays to Apple (and other manufacturers).
The company is bleeding money and is in the middle of a restructuring plan. Sharp is projecting a net loss of ¥450 billion (approximately US$5.6 billion -- yep, that's billion with a "B") for the year. And the company's stock has been downgraded to junk status by ratings agencies.
What's more Sharp is hoping that Apple and Intel will invest in it, reports "Computerworld" (http://macte.ch/sXKHs). Perhaps Apple should just buy it outright.
Who knows if Apple plans on making its own HDTVs as the rumor mill has suggested for months now (or is it years?). If it is, transforming Sharp's excellent Aquos TVs with some Apple magic could be a start. Sharp also makes a solid line of soundbars, which could be a lucrative accessory for an iTV (although I suspect Apple will simply build a killer sound system into any television it releases under its own brand).
Sharp also makes a line of home appliances, but we're not likely to see an iWash or iDry. On the other hand, Sharp's IGZO (indium gallium zinc oxide) technology promises low-power, high-res displays for mobile devices -- and that could interest Apple.
I have no idea what the going price for Sharp would be. Still, you have to wonder if buying the company isn't something Apple is at least considering.
-- Dennis Sellers