Thursday, July 12, 2012

Apple Acquisitions

Apple acquisitions since 2001
By my count, to date Apple has made 20 company acquisitions since 2001. Apple is somewhat secretive about its M&A activity, so some digging is required to get to 20. Capital IQ (an authoritative deal source) lists only 16 company acquisitions for Apple during this period.

Apple has not been a particularly acquisitive company over this 12 year period. In contrast, Google acquired about twice as many companies in the year 2011 alone.

The infographic on the right depicts these 20 acquisitions, clustering the deals by market segment. You can view much more detail at Apple acquisitions since 2001.

Three clusters stand out: 1) Media application software (Spruce, EMAGIC, Silicon Color, Proximity and Redmatica). The most recent deal (Redmatica) develops applications used for sampling and editing audio files and for managing audio libraries; 2) Semiconductors (P.A. Semi, Intrinsity and Anobit). The most recent deal (Anobit) makes a key component that improves the performance of NAND flash memory chips, which are used in products such as iPhones, iPads, and iPods; 3) Mapping, imaging, drawing (Placebase, Poly9, Imsense, C3 Technologies). The most recent deal (C3) is a developer of three-dimensional mapping technology and now operates as the "Sputnik" division of Apple. This latter cluster of deals was particularly important as Apple moved away from using Google Maps in its new iOS 6.

Curiously, Redmatica (Italy), Anobit (Israel), and C3 Technologies (Sweden) were all headquartered outside of the US. Apple's M&A reach clearly has a global perspective.