Apple Purchases A Large Number Of Tech Start-Up Companies
How often do you go shopping for groceries? Once a week? Once every two weeks? Every three weeks? For most people, it is about once every two or three weeks. This is about how often that Apple purchases a company. Many of these companies are smaller tech start ups, but others are well established in the tech world. Regardless, consider that every time you spend a couple hundred dollars on eggs, milk, bread and other groceries, Apple is spending a couple million or more on a new company.
Many people wonder why Apple does this, myself included. There are several ideas of speculation as to why apple does this. Unfortunately, Apple usually stays quite as to the reasoning behind their acquisitions. Often times, they are long term plays that take years to come to fruition.
The first idea is to acquire ideas and patents to implement into their products. This is smart because it saves Apple time and money in research and development. Many features in Apple's devices come from technology purchased in an acquisition, or a combination of several purchased technologies.
Another idea is that Apple wants to buy up any competition before it becomes a threat. This is also a possibility, but with the amount of cash and resources that Apple has at it's disposal, I don't see any major threat emerging in the near future.
It is also possible that Apple is working to find the next big product to add to their collection. They keep a rather small product line. These products are in demand because of the level of service and quality that Apple provides in their products. It takes something special to get Apple to branch into a new product line. The more companies that they acquire, then the more options they have in doing so.
Regardless of why Apple purchases so many companies, lets look at some of the success stories that Apple has created from these acquisitions. This is not going to cover anywhere near all of the acquisitions that Apple has made, just some of the major ones.
June 25, 2019 - Apple acquired Drive.ai, an autonomous vehicle company. With driver-less cars becoming a popular idea, many companies have been testing this idea including Google and Uber. This is Apple's way of getting their hand in the pot for this new technology.
September 24, 2018 - Apple acquired the artificial intelligence platform Shazam. This company built an AI platform that can recognize pieces of music and identify the artist, song, and album that is playing. This technology has been used to enhance iTunes, Apple Music and Siri.
March 12, 2018 - The digital magazine subscription service known as Texture was purchased by Apple. Apple used this technology in their software to implement Apple News and Apple News+.
December, 2017 - Spektral, a Green Screen technology company was purchased by Apple. The technology of this company was implemented into iOS to help optimize the Photos application.
October, 2017 - Apple acquired a New Zealand based startup called PowerbyProxi. This company had a focus in wireless charging technology that was implemented into the iPhone, AirPods and AirPods Pro.
May 13, 2017 - Lattice Data, a United States based company was acquired by Apple. This company developed an artificial intelligence platform that Apple implemented into the Photos app for sorting and finding photos based on faces, locations, and events.
May 8, 2017 - Sleep tracking company Beddit, from Finland, was purchased by Apple. Apple used the technology from this company in the Apple Watch, watchOS, and iOS to track sleep patterns through the Apple Watch.
March 23, 2017 - Apple acquired U.S. based company Workflow. This automation and scripting company provided the framework for Apple to implement the Shortcuts tool in iOS devices.
August 22, 2016 - Gliimpse, a health information collecting company, was purchased by Apple. Apple used the technology from this company to create the HealthKit app. This app tracks steps, heart rate and other metrics for measuring ones health.
This is just a short list of some of the acquisitions that Apple has made in the past 3 years or so. Apple made their first acquisition in 1988, over 30 years ago. Over the years, they have acquired over 100 companies at an increasing rate. This is interesting to follow and see how some of these acquisitions turn into applications and software for iOS devices that help make Apple the superior brand that they are today.