Historically, Apple has never been a company interested in making blockbuster acquisitions, its $3 billion purchase of Beats in 2014 being the lone outlier. More often than not, Apple tends to focus on making surgical acquisitions, snatching up smaller companies who either have personnel or technologies that clearly fit into Apple’s product roadmap.
Suffice it to say, if Apple purchases a company, it’s a safe bet that it has actual plans to incorporate it into its product lineup at some point or another. That being the case, we can sometimes glean some insight into what Apple has planned for the future by examining some of their more recent acquisitions.
Looking back over the past 12 months, Tim Cook recently said during Apple’s earnings conference call that they’ve acquired 15 companies. But seeing as how Apple likes to keep under wraps whenever possible, only 9 of those acquisitions are publicly known, leaving us with 6 mystery acquisitions that no one knows anything about.
As AppleInsider notes, “this appears to be a significant departure from the often broadly advertised acquisitions made by many other tech companies.” Indeed, whereas most high-profile companies like Alphabet or Microsoft can’t announce new acquisitions quick enough, Apple, if it had its way, would keep all of its corporate acquisitions a secret.
So while there are 6 companies Apple brought into the fold that still remain unknown, we do have a bit of information on 9 of the 15 acquisitions Apple made during its fiscal 2015. Below is a brief summary of those along with what type of technology each company brings to the table.
- Camel Audio – Audio
- Semetric – Music analytics
- FoundationDB – Database software
- LinX – Advanced camera technologies
- Coherent Navigation – Mapping software
- Metaio – Augmented Reality
- Mapsense – Mapping visualization software
- VocallQ – Speech technology
- Percepito – Machine learning technology
And though not officially an acquisition, we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out Apple’s partial acqui-hire of engineers from A123 systems, a company which specializes in high-performance and energy-efficient lithium-ion batteries. While Apple didn’t acquire the company outright, it hired all of its top engineers and Ph.D scientists, effectively forcing the company to close up shop. Naturally, it’s widely believed that the acquisition was made to further bolster Apple’s ongoing research into developing an electric vehicle.