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Apple purchased 9 companies since October, intends to pick up pace in 2013

post #1 of 22
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It was revealed on Tuesday that Apple has quietly made nine acquisitions since the start of the year, a rate outstripping 2012's pace of one company every 70 days.

Tim Cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook at the D11 conference. | Source: AllThingsD


According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, who was interviewed at AllThingsD's D11 conference on Tuesday, the Cupertino, Calif., company has made nine acquisitions in less than seven months, and is planning to pick up the pace as the year moves on.

"In the previous year, we were on a pace of acquiring a company every 70 days or so, so we'd acquire 6 or 7 companies in a year," Cook said. "This year we've already acquired 9 companies."

With May coming to a close, that leaves Apple acquisition rate at an incredible one purchase every 23 days. It is unclear what acquisitions were made, and Cook said Apple will announce the buys "only when [it has] to."

The company is not currently looking to make a "big purchase," but the chief executive said he is not opposed to such a move as long as it results in a great product.

On the note of connected services like Facebook, Cook said he has never felt like Apple needed a social network.

"We do some things that are social: iMessage, Game Center," he said. At last year's D10 conference, the Apple head announced that the now-defunct Ping social music service would soon be put out to pasture.

In January, Apple was rumored to have set its sights on Waze, the crowd-sourced navigation app reportedly being courted by Facebook and Google. Cook, however, said Apple made no such bid for the service.

Apple has a history of making strategic acquisitions, one of the most prominent being Siri in 2010. More recently, the company bought biometric security firm AuthenTec in July of 2012, sparking rumors that a future iPhone would include fingerprint identification tech.
post #2 of 22

They should buy Sony's entertainment (movies and shows) that are for sale presently. 

post #3 of 22
What companies they acquire? Does anyone have the list?
post #4 of 22
Originally Posted by drblank View Post
What companies they acquire? Does anyone have the list?

 

Talk about doubling down.

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post #5 of 22

If you re read the article there is your answer

 

.... Apple will announce the buys "only when [it has] to."

post #6 of 22
Buy 53 before Shitbook buys them. They are the best third party dev team on iOS right now. That sort of a notebook built into iOS would be amazing. And the guys behind the app could come up with the next big thing behind Cupertino's wall. But most of all, because they are talented developers.

I really wish Apple would buy Twitter, though. If there was ever a social network that fit Apple it's Twitter. And Square would make for an amazing purchase, too. If I had a store I'd love an Apple register.
Edited by Ireland - 5/28/13 at 10:34pm
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post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"This year we've already acquired 9 companies."

In that case the title of the article is wrong.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

They should buy Sony's entertainment (movies and shows) that are for sale presently.

I thought Sony is merely creating a sub division, and still keeping control over that department.
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post #8 of 22
But what happens to the employees of the companies that get acquired? Don't most of them lose their jobs? Apple certainly doesn't need more people in HR or Payroll or the like. Most likely only the executives and a few technical people will still have jobs after Apple buys the company. The takeovers always destroy the company that is purchased.
post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by old-wiz View Post

The takeovers always destroy the company that is purchased.

Usually they buy the companies for the talent the employees have; not necessarily for the products.
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post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by old-wiz View Post

But what happens to the employees of the companies that get acquired? Don't most of them lose their jobs? Apple certainly doesn't need more people in HR or Payroll or the like. Most likely only the executives and a few technical people will still have jobs after Apple buys the company. The takeovers always destroy the company that is purchased.

 

Often, such purchases are software companies which are composed of less than a dozen people.  That's why they're relatively inexpensive to buy.  You simply offer each person a buyout of a few million dollars apiece, in return for their IP and some time spent passing on their knowledge to your own employees.  Voila!  Everyone's happy.

 

(I know guys who have created startups using the latest hot ideas... with no intention of ever selling anything... simply for the purpose of getting noticed and bought out by companies like Microsoft.)

 

But yes. Apple often buys or invests in companies not only for their talent, but to prevent others from using their tech.  E.g.:

 

  • Apple bought Fingerworks and shut down their product line. Now their ergonomic devices are only available secondhand.  At least one of the founders still works for Apple doing R&D.
  • Apple bought WiFiSlam, apparently just to keep the tech out of Android hands.
  • Apple bought exclusive consumer electronics rights to Liquidmetal, even though they've not used it in a phone yet (unlike Samsung, who had been using it for years). 
  • Apple bought Authentec, a fingerprint sensor supplier long favored by other handheld makers, thus denying other manufacturers any further access to that tech.
  • Apple bought Siri and did actually use it.

 

Anybody have any other examples?

post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

Often, such purchases are software companies which are composed of less than a dozen people.  That's why they're relatively inexpensive to buy.  You simply offer each person a buyout of a few million dollars apiece, in return for their IP and some time spent passing on their knowledge to your own employees.  Voila!  Everyone's happy.

(I know guys who have created startups using the latest hot ideas... with no intention of ever selling anything... simply for the purpose of getting noticed and bought out by companies like Microsoft.)

But yes. Apple often buys or invests in companies not only for their talent, but to prevent others from using their tech.  E.g.:
  • Apple bought Fingerworks and shut down their product line. Now their ergonomic devices are only available secondhand.  At least one of the founders still works for Apple doing R&D.
  • Apple bought WiFiSlam, apparently just to keep the tech out of Android hands.
  • Apple bought exclusive consumer electronics rights to Liquidmetal, even though they've not used it in a phone yet (unlike Samsung, who had been using it for years). 
  • Apple bought Authentec, a fingerprint sensor supplier long favored by other handheld makers, thus denying other manufacturers any further access to that tech.
  • Apple bought Siri and did actually use it.

Anybody have any other examples?

Apple bought Fingerworks, and the guys behind that company helped dev the iPhone, and in turn the iPad now exists as a saleable product because of that purchase (as proved by a lot of Apple phone, Apple tablet and Apple touch screen patents being references to these guys).
Apple bought Wifi SLAM and didn't use the tech, yet.
Apple bought exclusive rights to LM, are using it for the SIM ejection tool, may be using it for more stuff we aren't aware, and stuff in the future.
Apple bought Authentec and may use them this year in for sale iOS devices.
Apple bought PA Semi and Intrinsity, and now produce their own chips.
Apple bought Quattro Wireless = iAD.
Apple bought Lala = iTunes Preview and iTunes Match.
Apple bought SoundJam Mp = iTunes.
Siri = Siri.

I disagree that Apple buys companies to prevent other companies from using their technology. They very much use the tech. But yes, the do talent acquisitions like Color.
Edited by Ireland - 5/29/13 at 5:47am
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post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Apple bought Fingerworks, and the guys behind that company helped dev the iPhone, and in turn the iPad now exists as a saleable product because of that purchase (as proved by a lot of Apple phone and Apple tablet and Apple touch screen patents being references to these guys).

 

Actually, Fingerworks was about opaque surfaces, so their patents (even most at Apple) are about touchpad surfaces... not transparent touchscreens.  Their tech was not necessary to create the iPhone or iPad, as evidenced by all the other touch devices designed and built without such knowledge.

 

Quote:
Apple bought Wifi SLAM and didn't use the tech, yet.
Apple bought exclusive rights to LM, are using it for the SIM ejection tool, may be using it for more stuff we aren't aware, and stuff in the future.
Apple bought Authentec and may use them this year in for sale iOS devices.

 

The point is, while other companies were okay with everyone licensing such tech for years, Apple actually took the tech off the market instead of sharing it like everyone else had.

 

Quote:
Apple bought PA Semi and Intrinsity, and now produce their own chips.
Apple bought Quattro Wireless = iAD.
Apple bought Lala = iTunes Preview and iTunes Match.
Apple bought SoundJam Mp = iTunes.
Siri = Siri.

 

Good ones.  Thanks!

post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

Actually, Fingerworks was about opaque surfaces, so their patents (even most at Apple) are about touchpad surfaces... not transparent touchscreens.  Their tech was not necessary to create the iPhone or iPad, as evidenced by all the other touch devices designed and built without such knowledge.

Their tech was gesture recognition which was absolutely pinnacle to making the iPhone and why this strategic buy plus all the effort Apple put into their HW and SW is why the Devices still perform better to gestures than other devices on the market.

Next you're going to tell us that Apple didn't do anything with NeXT simply because they changed the UI to more closely match Mac OS¡ 1oyvey.gif

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post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


Apple bought Fingerworks, and the guys behind that company helped dev the iPhone, and in turn the iPad now exists as a saleable product because of that purchase (as proved by a lot of Apple phone, Apple tablet and Apple touch screen patents being references to these guys).
Apple bought Wifi SLAM and didn't use the tech, yet.
Apple bought exclusive rights to LM, are using it for the SIM ejection tool, may be using it for more stuff we aren't aware, and stuff in the future.
Apple bought Authentec and may use them this year in for sale iOS devices.
Apple bought PA Semi and Intrinsity, and now produce their own chips.
Apple bought Quattro Wireless = iAD.
Apple bought Lala = iTunes Preview and iTunes Match.
Apple bought SoundJam Mp = iTunes.
Siri = Siri.

I disagree that Apple buys companies to prevent other companies from using their technology. They very much use the tech. But yes, the do talent acquisitions like Color.

What 9 companies did Apple buy since last Oct?  The companies you mentioned were purchased a long time before Oct.

post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

What 9 companies did Apple buy since last Oct?  The companies you mentioned were purchased a long time before Oct.

His comment is in response to KDarling accusing Apple of only buying companies to shut them down so others can't buy/use their IP.

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post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

Actually, Fingerworks was about opaque surfaces, so their patents (even most at Apple) are about touchpad surfaces... not transparent touchscreens. Their tech was not necessary to create the iPhone or iPad, as evidenced by all the other touch devices designed and built without such knowledge.

But the two guys behind Fingerworks also are attributed to loads of Apple owned patents since they took up employment, directly related to iPad and iPhone touch screen devices. Their names are on the patents. That wasn't a simply buy up these guys to stop Google or someone buying them. And it's certainly more nuanced than a simple talent acquisition.
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post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

His comment is in response to KDarling accusing Apple of only buying companies to shut them down so others can't buy/use their IP.

 

Read closer, please. I did not say it was just to prevent others.  I said "not only for their talent, but to prevent others from using their tech."

 

Apple could've licensed Authentec and Liquidmetal products like others had been doing for years.  Instead, they took away the ability for anyone else to license the tech.  It's just Apple's style.  Some people would claim it was a smart move.

 

Apple fansites even often point it out.  For example, the WiFiSlam example came from this site:

 

http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/03/25/apples-20m-purchase-of-wifislam-snubs-googles-android-for-indoor-map-tech

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

But the two guys behind Fingerworks also are attributed to loads of Apple owned patents since they took up employment, directly related to iPad and iPhone touch screen devices. Their names are on the patents. 

 

First, I love those guys.  Ever read Westerman's thesis that helped get them started?

 

However, try to cite three patents from them while at Apple that are directly related to the iPhone or iPad.

 

The closest examples would probably be an old one that could also be used for detecting cheeks and earlobes on a phone, and a fairly recent one related to checking for sloppy finger taps.

 

Most of their patents were, and are still, centered around keyboards, touchpads and other small and large opaque surfaces.

 

Quote:
That wasn't a simply buy up these guys to stop Google or someone buying them. And it's certainly more nuanced than a simple talent acquisition.

 

Sure.  I did not say they bought Fingerworks to stop others.  What I said was that when they did buy Fingerworks, a unique product line was lost to the world.   This was in reference to the comment someone else made that when Apple buys a company, the company is often shut down.

post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

Read closer, please. I did not say it was just to prevent others.  I said "not only for their talent, but to prevent others from using their tech."


You wrote, "Apple often buys or invests in companies not only for their talent, but to prevent others from using their tech."

You neither stated or inferred Apple buys tech to make it proprietary which has the consequence of preventing others from using it. You clearly and directly stated they buy them to prevent others from using their tech as a primary reason for their purchase.
Edited by SolipsismX - 5/29/13 at 11:48am

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post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

 

 

Anybody have any other examples?

Anobit, Israeli designer of flash memory controllers.

post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

What 9 companies did Apple buy since last Oct?  The companies you mentioned were purchased a long time before Oct.

According to the clearly readable text story this thread is based on, NOBODY FRIKIN' KNOWS, because it's a deep dark secret!!!

post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Next you're going to tell us that Apple didn't do anything with NeXT simply because they changed the UI to more closely match Mac OS¡ 1oyvey.gif


Wait, I thought NeXT bought Apple for a negative $429M ¿¿
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post #22 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Retrogusto View Post

Anobit, Israeli designer of flash memory controllers.

 

That's an excellent example of an acquisition that has borne fruit.

 

Apparently the latest iOS devices use one of those controllers, and tests seem to show a better Flash read/write speed.

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