BusinessWeek has a story asking, "Is Apple Ready for Merger Mania? " As a sign that it might be, the article points out that last year Steve Jobs and Co. hired a Goldman Sachs investment banker, Adrian Perica, to help it with deal making.
No doubt the acquisition wheels have sped up at Apple: Three of the 11 deals done under Jobs' leadership have come in the past five months, including the largest since his return, the $275 million purchase of Quattro Wireless.
Apple is surely learning that it simply does not make sense to grow everything organically.
However, it's still unlikely Apple is going into M&A in a big way. Its unique corporate culture is a precious commodity. Incorporating small companies make much more sense. Plus, the company really loves its cash.
What the hiring of Perica shows is that Apple recognized a weakness. They knew that an ad hoc acquisition strategy and process just doesn't cut it when you're an industry leader intent on staying on top, especially when a former ally is increasingly looking like a chief competitor.
And while M&A may never be a core competency, a guy like Perica can make sure it's never a complete liability.