What Apple has bought, and what it hasn’t by Philip Elmer-DeWitt @FortuneMagazine May 6, 2009, 1:13 PM EDT E-mail Tweet Facebook Google Plus Linkedin Share icons Two lists crossed my desk that say volumes about the silly rumor that swept through the blogosphere Tuesday like a Mexican flu: that Apple AAPL is in “serious negotiations” to buy Twitter. The first, courtesy of Technologizer‘s Harry McCracken, recaps a dozen other companies Apple was supposedly about to buy. The second, straight from Wikipedia, is the list of recent Apple acquisitions that actually occurred. Without further ado… McCracken’s Apple acquisitions that aren’t going to happen: 2003 Universal Music. Source: The Register 2004 Pixar. Source: CNNMoney 2005 Tivo TIVO . Source: Reuters via AppleInsider 2006 Palm PALM . Source: Ars Technica 2006 Sun Microsystems JAVA . Source: John C. Dvorak 2006 Disney DIS . Source: Barron’s via MarketWatch 2006 Nintendo. Source: Cnet 2007 Advanced Micro Devices AMD . Source: Seeking Alpha 2008 Sony SNE . Source: Bloomberg 2008 Adobe Systems ADBE . Source: Robert X. Cringely 2009 Yahoo YHOO . Source: Search Engine Watch 2009 Electronic Arts ERTS . Source: Upside Down Charts Wikipedia’s List of mergers and acquisitions by Apple: 1997 Next (programming services). Value: $404 million 1997 Power Computing (cloned computers). Value: $100 million 1999 Xemplar Education (software). Value: $5 million 1999 Raycer Graphics (graphic chips). Value: $15 million 2000 NetSelector (Internet software). Value: NA 2001 Astarte (DVD authoring software). Value: NA 2001 Source Technologies (graphics software). Value: NA 2001 PowerSchool (online info systems services). Value: $62 million 2002 Nothing Real (special effects software). Value: $15 million 2002 Zayante (software). Value: $13 million 2002 Silicon Grail Corp-Chalice (digital effects software). Value: NA 2002 Emagic (music production software). Value: $30 million 2006 Silicon Color (software). Value: NA 2006 Proximity (software). Value: NA 2008 P.A. Semi (semiconductors). $268 million See the disconnect? The first list is made up entirely of high-profile companies with huge price tags whose acquisition by Apple — with a cash reserve of nearly $29 billion — would make for juicy copy. As Good Morning Silicon Valley‘s headline puts it: “Apple’s cash burning a hole in rumor mill’s pocket.” But judging from the second list, those are precisely the kind of purchases Apple is least likely to make. “Apple’s business philosophy,” as the Wikipedia entry succinctly puts it, “is to acquire small companies that can be easily integrated into existing company projects.” “Twapple” is just not the kind of thing they drink in Cupertino.