According to Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook, the company has acquired 100 companies over the last six years. If you do the math, that means on average they purchase a new company every 3 to 4 weeks.
Apple recently delivered its largest quarter by revenue of all time, bringing in $111.4bn (£78.7bn) in the first-quarter of its fiscal year 2021. Having deep pockets certainly has its benefits, but one might wonder what Apple has to gain by acquiring so many companies. Most often, Apple buys smaller technology firms and then incorporates their innovations into its own products. Some familiar examples of these companies are Beats by Dr.Dre, which was Apple’s largest acquisition, costing them $3bn. Another high profile purchase was music recognition software company Shazam, for $400m in 2018.
In more recent years, Apple has bought several artificial intelligence (AI) companies like Drive.ai, a virtual reality events business, a payments startup and a podcast business, among others. Those purchases could be an indication as to the direction that Apple will be building its future tech on.
Apple is currently worth over $2trn, giving them the freedom to make these big moves but they are still very selective and conservative when it comes to their acquisitions. Apple’s 10 largest purchases don’t even sum up to the amounts of money other tech giants like Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook have spent to purchase a single company.
What are your thoughts on Apple’s business acumen?