A far as Apple rumors go, this one is as absurd as Apple acquiring Twitter. Indeed, the only thing that gives its any credence is the source – Boy Genius Report.
The Boy Genius himself, Jonathan Geller, wrote today, citing an admittedly unproven source, that Apple is currently engaged in discussions to potentially acquire Barnes and Noble.
Apple would be able to take Barnes & Noble’s vast digital library of books and publications, and fold them into Apple’s own iBooks store. Apple would have no use for the NOOK, and that would likely be discontinued in this scenario. Apple could then convert some of the brick and mortar Barnes & Noble stores into Apple stores and close the rest.
BGR’s source also claims that Apple will release iTunes 11 in September alongside iOS 5 and iCloud and “will support reading iBooks on computers as well as textbook purchases and rentals.”
Now that last part is believable, but acquiring Barnes and Noble, though cheap it might be ($1.5 billion), just seems laughable for a variety of reasons. For one, Apple’s retail expansion, for now, is focused outwards towards international markets. Second, Apple has had no problem finding desireable real estate to put up new retail outlets. And third, a B&N purchase just isn’t in Apple’s DNA. Apple’s acquisitions are strategic and though Apple could easily afford to swallow up Barnes and Noble, the $1.5 billion purchase price would make it the most expensive corporate acquisition in Apple history.
Odds of this happening? 1 in a million.