2023 Author: Gordon Kinson | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-26 08:36
Apple has acquired 23 small companies over the past 5 quarters, Tim Cook said in a speech to shareholders. The paradox is that journalists and experts do not know anything about a third of the deals - who exactly was bought by Apple, remains a mystery.
The acquisition histories of Chomp, Redmaticia, AuthenTec and Particle in 2012 are more or less transparent, but everything else is shrouded in the darkness of corporate secrecy.
What is known for certain
When summing up the results of the next fiscal year in September 2013, Apple representatives reported spending in the amount of $ 496 million in the form of direct payments for "business acquisitions". Their list includes interesting names - WiFiSlam, Locationary, HopStop, Passif Semiconductor, Matcha, Embark and AlgoTrim. Further, according to the results of the first quarter of the new financial period (ended in December 2013), another $ 525 million was officially leaked from the accounts of the Cupertin company, for all the same purposes. Think for a second - in just 1 quarter, Apple spent a lot more than the previous four combined.
Such high costs are associated with large-scale acquisitions - the list of companies controlled by the apple brand has been replenished with Cue, PrimeSense, Topsy, Broadmap and Catch. Recent reports - Apple also bought SnappyLabs and Burstly over the two winter months of 2014. Well, the richest business in the world can afford it, but the number of items is 14, and Mr. Cook was talking about 23 purchases. And it is unlikely that a top manager of this level could afford to just say a word - the intrigue is growing.
Apple's stealth strategy
It is impossible to get any useful information from Tim Cook's remark, only that the media somehow missed the facts of 9 more transactions. What kind of companies they were is completely unclear, moreover, it is not even clear where to start the investigation. There are only two facts, 23 purchases in 16 months - even the acquisition dates remain a mystery. At the same time, analysts are well aware that Apple never tends to buy for the sake of strengthening its reputation or spontaneous spending of excess funds. Each deal is a strategic maneuver, a thoughtful step, and the more it becomes more and more interesting.
Apple has not been expected to make loud statements for a long time, akin to those of its nearest competitors such as Yahoo, Microsoft, Google and Facebook. Not that bragging about purchases, even just informing the public, the Cupertinians do not consider it necessary. The best answer you can get is "Yes, we made a deal." But it is much more likely to hear the formulaic "Apple considers it advisable to buy small companies from time to time, but not to discuss this with someone."
At the same time, observant specialists have long noticed that the purpose of the transaction is not difficult to calculate, having got acquainted with the specifics of the startup. This was the case, for example, with the purchase of LaLa to modernize the iTunes service or AuthenTec when developing the Touch ID scanner. The time of the purchase does not really matter, the acquisition can “shoot” many months later, which gives a lot of opportunities for predicting the company's plans. Here's a fact - about a third of recent purchases to one degree or another are related to mapping and navigation systems. It is easy to guess that Apple has very ambitious plans for the development of its Maps service, and rivals in the person of Google and Nokia are in real danger of being left behind.
The flip side of the coin is that analysts work in the offices of competitors, who can also easily calculate Apple's strategy. Therefore, such obvious secrecy in this case is not a sign of Mr. Cook's paranoia, but a guarantee of survival and prosperity for the corporation he heads.
Another problem is associated with software development, forcing companies to adhere to a special degree of secrecy as well. Everything new that is being developed for the iOS and OS X environments should be shown to the end user in a completely finished form. Of course, preliminary announcements and intrigue have their own meaning, but the negative impression from the delay in the release of the next version or obscure options is more significant. It is difficult to implement something that will appeal to everyone at once, but it is even worse if users have already managed to imagine how the application will look and work, and then experienced disappointment. And try to explain that this is not the company's fault - it's easier to initially focus on secrecy.
Isn't that why no one in the world still knows anything reliably about iWatch watches, although rumors have been circulating for more than a year and a half? There is no need to distract the audience by telling them about raw products, and it is unlikely that the company would have been able to earn a billion on Apple TV if the capabilities included in the current version of the set-top box had become known in advance. The last argument is that patent trolls still pose a threat even to IT giants of the apple brand level, you don't need to feed them.
But with all of the above, the question of 9 nameless companies is still open.
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- Apple is the most valuable brand in the world according to the Brand Finance Global 500.
- 6 problems of Android smartphones that the iPhone does not have.
- The average price of an iPhone is more than double the price of an Android smartphone.
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