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10 Apple acquisitions and their significance

Posted: 06 Apr 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:acquisitions? Tim Cook? Apple?

Apple is not only known for its iPhone and MacBook but also for its penchant to buy tech companies occasionally. However, few are aware of how these acquisitions may improve the company's future.

"Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."

This is the response that most people receive when they reach out to Apple spokespeople in an effort to confirm rumoured acquisitions. Most of the time, Apple has a zipped-lips approach to discussing its purchase history. The company prefers to wait for the news to surface through the media or otherwise.

As of May 3, 2014, Apple had completed 24 acquisitions in the preceding 18 months, said CEO Tim Cook in an earnings call around that time. "That shows that we're on the prowl, I suppose you could say," he noted.


(Source: Wikipedia)

"On the prowl" seems like an understatement, given that Apple has not halted its buying spree since then. Almost one year later, the company has snapped up firms focused on big data, mapping technology, display production and digital publishing. "We look for companies that have great people and great technology and that fit culturally," said Cook in that May 2014 earnings call.

Apple's long list of acquisitions over the past year range from Beats Electronics to analytics-powered book recommendation tool BookLamp. Such businesses provide both technology and talent that enable Apple to expand and improve on its vast collection of products and services.

While price isn't much of an issue for Apple, that doesn't mean it's willing to pay exorbitant amounts for every firm that comes into its possession. "We'll spend what we think is a fair price," Cook said in 2014. "What's important to us is that strategically it makes sense and that it winds up adding value to our shareholders over the long haul."

He further explained in 2014 that Apple watchers could expect to see more acquisitions in the future, "some of which we'll try to keep quiet and some of which seems to be impossible to keep quiet."

When it comes to Apple, the tech world is always talking, so it's no surprise that supposedly secret purchases have made their way into the spotlight. We discuss 10 that have surfaced over the past year and how they might help to shape the future of Apple.

Given the chaos that is the Apple rumour mill, there's a chance we may have overlooked a purchase or two in this roundup. If you know of anything we missed, feel free to mention it to us in the comments section below.

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