Speaking on CNBC’s Squawk Box Europe on Friday, Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives called Apple not buying Netflix so far Cook’s “biggest mistake” as the iPhone maker’s top executive. Ives added that for Apple to jump-start its business, a renewed interest in content is critical. And that’s where Netflix could have factored in.
“You need content, you need fuel in that engine,” Ives said.
His comments are the latest in a string of predictions from analysts and other industry watchers that Apple would at least consider a Netflix buyout. They reason that Apple’s Services business, which includes content distributions, app sales, and streaming content, is growing rapidly. And buying a big company like Netflix and having access to those streaming subscribers could be beneficial for Apple. Plus, with a quarter-trillion dollars in cash, Apple has the liquidity to buy Netflix.
But under Cook, Apple has been loath to make big acquisitions. Instead, the company has made small acquisitions to boost features in its existing products and services. And at least so far, Cook hasn’t signaled that that strategy will change.
For Ives, however, the roadmap for Apple (AAPL) is clear. He believes Apple needs more content and should make a big acquisition to get it. And he’s not convinced Netflix (NFLX) is off the table.
“They’re lacking original content and lacking video content, which is why we believe they’ll buy a large film studio in 2019,” Ives said in the interview. “We’ve talked about potentially Sony, Lionsgate, A24—a CBS or Viacom is potentially still on the table as well as a Netflix, as that’s the key to drive the Services business.”
Apple did not immediately respond to a Fortune request for comment on Ives’ comments.