Apple’s CEO Tim Cook delivers the keynote speech during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2020 at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California.
Brooks Kraft / Apple Inc / Handout on Reuters
Apple buys a lot of small businesses and doesn̵
In an interview with CNBC on Thursday, Apple CEO Tim Cook gave an insight into the company’s acquisition strategy and contrasted with other major technology companies that testified before the company’s Subcommittee on Antitrust Law on Wednesday.
“If you look at the things behind the investigation, these are acquisitions, and if you noticed, we have received no questions about acquisitions because our approach to acquisitions has been to buy companies that we are challenging have and IP and then make it a feature of the phone, “Cook said in the interview.
Cook argues that Apple doesn’t buy competitors – it buys companies that have products or other technologies that Apple can turn into functions.
Although Cook has stopped naming his big tech rivals, emails released on Thursday by the subcommittee show that Facebook managers were discussing the takeover of Instagram internally in connection with the elimination of a competitor. Emails also showed that Amazon employees undercut Diapers.com’s price to gain market share. Amazon bought Quidsi, its parent company, in 2010.
Cook supported his position: “One example was Touch ID. We bought a company that accelerated Touch ID at a certain point in time.”
There are other examples too: in 2017, Apple bought Workflow, an automation app that is now the shortcuts app built into iPhones. In 2018, the company bought Texture, a subscription service for digital magazines, which now forms the basis for Apple News +. The Animoji avatars that users can incorporate into text come from the FaceShift takeover in 2015. Siri was the product of an acquisition. Apple’s industry leading mobile chips are a direct result of the purchase of PA Semi in 2008.
Other deals were for companies that are closer to Apple’s competition. In 2017, Apple bought Beddit, a hardware sleep tracker from Finland. Apple still sells beddits and even updated the hardware, but many features have been removed in 2019, and Apple will add sleep tracking as a feature this fall in its latest Apple Watch software.
Apple buys many smaller companies and doesn’t always announce the acquisitions. So far, five purchases by Apple have been publicly announced in 2020, none of which has an official price for the transaction. Most of Apple’s acquisitions are so small that the company doesn’t have to report them to the SEC
Cook said last year that Apple buys a company every few weeks. Apple’s largest historic deal was for Beats in 2014 for $ 3 billion. Apple is still selling Beats headphones and has converted its streaming music service to Apple Music.