Well, here’s an interesting one for you to contemplate this weekend. The New York Times is reporting that Apple has discussed the possibility of investing “hundreds of millions” of dollars in Twitter at a valuation of more than $10 billion. Citing people familiar with the matter, The Times notes that an investment in Twitter could help Apple gain traction in social networking, an area of weakness for the company.

Certainly, Apple has the money to play ball with Twitter with $117 billion in the bank. And, if the iPhone maker decided to invest, it wouldn’t be the first time that a tech juggernaut aligned itself with an up-and-comer in the social networking arena. You may recall that Microsoft invested $240 million in Facebook five years ago for a 1.6 percent stake.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the discussions occurred “more than a year ago,” and they have since ended.  The Times also noted that the talks aren’t going on right now.

However, the possibility of a partnership between the companies is getting the tech blogosphere in a tizzy with speculation that an alliance could more closely connect Apple’s growing power in devices with a social networking service with more than 140 million users.

The Times reports:

Ties between Apple and Twitter are strengthening at a time of great uncertainty in the mobile market. Battle lines that seemed clear just a year ago are rapidly blurring as companies push into new areas of the market and clash with former allies.

Facebook, the world’s largest social network, is said to be working on developing its own phone or core software for phones. Similarly, Google acquired Motorola Mobility last year and is now in the business of building phones.

The jumbled landscape reflects the rising significance of mobile, as more consumers neglect their desktops in favor of computing that fits in their pockets. Eager to win on such a critical battleground, technology giants are rushing to control both hardware and software on mobile devices.

So, what do you think? Smart move? Or should Apple focus efforts elsewhere?

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  • http://www.facebook.com/robofhood Robert Hammond

    If Apple wanted to rewards it’s shareholders, a leveraged stock buyback program is the best way to go. Nobody is worried about Apple’s ability to carry long term debt on it’s balance sheet and with treasuries at negative actual yields, it’s a win-win.

    • Bob

      Stock buybacks have uncertain results for shareholders. They can also be used to game EPS. See MSFT for an example of both. A more straightforward option that gurantees shareholders get paid is to increase the dividend.

  • http://twitter.com/fijiaaron Aaron Evans

    Why are companies investing in each other instead of competing developing products?

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