Honest to god, if there are two companies that better make “a couple” than Adobe and Apple I sure can’t think of them. Here’s three reasons why Apple should acquire Adobe:
1) Photoshop. The entire family of products defines a category that defines the Mac platform. There is speculation that the reason Mac Pro sales have been slow is that CS3, the Universal Binary version, wasn’t available until recently. If there ever was a modern “killer app” this would be it.
2) PDF. Apple did more to promote PDF than anyone, I love the fact that it’s integrated into the OS and could see this becoming a universal doc format for Apple even more tightly integrated.
3) Apollo. I’ve seen some of the early Apollo stuff and it was hot. This has the potential to completely redefine what it measn to be a web application because it makes the web browser optional. Tightly integrated into the OSX while at the same time offering support for Vista would give users yet another reason to buy a Mac, and still offer Windows users some cake and that means web developers would find the environment very attractive. Apple could easily give Apollo away for free to anyone who wants to develop for it. Imagine what they could do with the iPhone and Apollo!
And for a bonus, here’s one more:
4) Adobe Connect. This is the Breeze product from Macromedia and it is by all accounts a seriously good online collaboration/meeting tool. Microsoft has been doing really well with Placeware and the recently announced acquisition of Webex means this sector is far from tied up. Apple needs a good remote presentation tool and this is it.
UPDATE: I forgot to mention that APPL has $12b in cash and growing, they need to do something productive with that before it becomes a drag on their balance sheet.
UPDATE2: Baron.vc has a counterpoint post worth reading.