Jonathan Geller at BoyGeniusReport speculated Thursday that Apple may be interested in purchasing bookseller Barnes & Noble.
Geller said an anonymous tipster said Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS) were having "discussions" about the proposition. Geller suggested Apple would benefit from Barnes and Noble's "vast digital library of books and publications."
Geller cited another source who said the move was too straightforward for Apple.
First, the companies likely were having discussions, if for no other reason than Barnes & Noble's presence with its Nook e-reader and digital online bookstore. Beyond that, any notion that Apple might consider buying America's largest bookselling chain seems unfathomable.
Barnes & Noble does have some digital and hardware assets with the Nook and its online e-bookstore. Otherwise, any potential buyer of Barnes & Noble has nothing to gain but real estate around the country that accomodates Barnes and Noble's 705 traditional brick-and-mortar retail stores.
Apple has little reason to acquire 705 large retail placements throughout the country. With $76 billion in cash, as Apple has now accrued, the company can open retail stores to specific location and buildouts anywhere it wants without so much as a blip on its financial statement.
The Nook is a good product, according to trade reviews, and getting better all the time. Apple may have interest in the Nook, but Apple likes to remain more nimble than making moves like buying a national retailer on its way down. Barnes and Noble is losing money, and looking to remake its business model.
The company is also looking for a buyer, and that's been no secret. But while Apple may look, don't expect the company to touch Barnes & Noble.
It's not likely going to happen.