Apple has acquired 100 companies in the last six years, according to its CEO Tim Cook (or Tim Apple, if your name happens to be Donald Trump).
If you do the arithmetic that works out to buying a company every three to four weeks. Well, you don’t have to do sums yourself; Cook announced that figure at the company’s annual meeting of shareholders on Tuesday.
In that same call, Cook revealed that the company has had its largest quarter by revenue of all time, bringing in $111.4 billion in the first-quarter of 2021’s fiscal year – having over a billion iPhones out in the wild probably helps.
Apple’s appetite for tech
During the call, Cook told shareholders that Apple mainly acquires companies for the tech they produce, and the talent they have.
While companies such as headphones maker Beats Electronics (acquired for $3 billion) and music recognition app Shazam (bought for $400 million) are standalone acquisitions, more often than not, companies are acquired for their tech, which is then incorporated into Apple’s own devices and software. One such company is PrimeSense, a 3D sensing company whose technology was used for FaceID.
While the idea of Apple buying up other companies at the rate it does might seem mind-boggling to those of us struggling to make the rent, it isn’t alone in its activities; Microsoft bought LinkedIn for $26 billion, Amazon paid $13.7 billion for Whole Foods and Facebook bought WhatsApp for $19 billion for WhatsApp – and we all see where that’s going. Compared to the outlay on those sales, their acquisitions are small potatoes.
The iPhone maker is also pretty selective about what it purchases; Elon Musk said he approached Apple to buy Tesla’s electric car business when it was in trouble in 2013 and Cook didn’t bother to take the meeting.