Can you believe it? In the last over six years, Apple, the most iconic, and valued company acquired about 100 companies that is virtually equivalent to one company every 3-4 weeks. This was revealed by Tim Cook, the CEO in the Apple’s annual meeting of shareholders. In the first-quarter (Q1) of its current fiscal year 2021, Apple declared its highest ever revenue of all time, bringing in $111.4 bn.
Speaking at the shareholders meeting, Tim Cook said that primarily the acquisitions are aimed at acquiring technology and talent.
Apple has always been the trendsetter since Steve Jobs founded it. No tech company in the world created as much buzz and excitement as apple. People are just crazy about Apple’s IPhones and Mcbooks, and whenever it launches its new model, they stand in a queue virtually for 24 hours to lay their hands on those sleek IPhones.
Apple is not only a tech company manufacturing sleek gadgets with incredible features and unique designs. It defines a new lifestyle which demands style and recognition. And those who wish to be a part of this new lifestyle will spend insane amounts to be the proud owner of these sleek and stylist products.
In the last decade, Apple’s biggest acquisition was its $3bn purchase of Beats Electronics, a company manufacturing headphones founded by rapper and producer Dr Dre. Another high profile acquisition was Shazam, the music recognition software company for $400m in 2018.
Usually, Apple buys smaller tech firms and then uses their innovations for its own products. Probably, the best example is PrimeSense, an Israeli 3D sensing company whose technology helped Apple launch its FaceID feature.
Apple has also heavily invested in back-end technology to help their iPhone or Macbook users.
Self-driving Tech, AI and podcasts
Apple’s list of investments and acquisitions is quite diverse. In the last few years, Apple has invested big in several artificial intelligence (AI) companies, a podcast business, virtual reality events business, and a payments startup and a podcast business.
And in 2019, Apple bought Drive.ai, a self-driving shuttle firm. It was basically an effort to make its foray into self-driving technologies.
In 2016, Apple bought a $1bn stake in the Chinese ride-hailing service Didi Chuxing, although it wasn’t the controlling shareholder.
Apple is one of the all-time most profitable companies in the world having worth more than $2trn. It has plenty of money and resources at its disposal, and acquisitions have never been a problem for them.
Although it has bought 100 companies in the span of last six years, Apple is usually very selective about what it buys.
The other day, I read a very interesting post on Elon Musk, the Tesla founder in Connected India, a new social media channel. Elon Musk recently revealed that in 2013 when he was still struggling, he approached Tim Cook to buy his electric car business, but Cook didn’t even take the meeting.
Apple’s most acquisitions have been far more restrained than those of many of its tech rivals. To acquire LinkedIn, Microsoft paid an astronomical amount of $26bn, whereas Amazon paid $13.7bn for their acquisition of Whole Foods and Facebook paid $19bn for the WhatsApp.
In comparison, if you put Apple’s ten largest purchases together, that would still be worth much less than any of those deals.