Apple has been trying to put its eggs in more baskets for some time now. And not only by presenting new devices cyclically —from the Mac and the iPod to the iPhone and the iPad, the AirPods or the Apple Watch—, but by shifting more and more weight to its services division.
Although its products still account for nearly 80% of its revenue, AppStore commissions, subscriptions to Apple One, Apple Music, iCloud, or Apple TV+ to a lesser extent they grow in relative importance each year in their accounts. Something to which advertising has also been added in recent years, where Apple, under its commitment to privacy for the user, has managed to take market share from direct competitors such as Google or Meta.
This diversification does not stop there. It is obvious that Apple has also been beginning to position itself in the collective mind of its users for some time as a partner for their work productivity, their health —this aspect in a very specific way for the wearers of an Apple Watch— or even your finances. The latter, the United States for now, with the launch of the Apple Card.
But, in addition, a review of its most recent purchases and acquisitions can also indicate in which new sectors Apple is placing its interests in the future. Looking back here provides valuable perspective. Twenty years ago, for example, Apple was not involved in most of the businesses that we have named in the preceding lines. Who knows what the Apple of the future will do, but this tourIt brings us some light. Not surprisingly, the company has acquired more than 25 companies since 2018.
Augmented reality, the bet that is already here
If the rumors are true, Apple will present its augmented reality glasses/helmet in just a few monthsfully entering a sector that until now he had only touched with his fingertips.
For example, its ARKit solution—launched in 2017 and now part of RealityKit—allows developers to create augmented reality experiences in their apps. But it has been adding new companies in the sector to its shopping cart.
In 2018, Apple acquired two companies in the sector: Cameraian Israel-based computer vision and augmented reality technology startup, and Akonia Holographics, a developer, also, of augmented reality. These purchases helped increase Apple’s patent portfolio and talent, laying the groundwork for its future products based on both technologies.
In 2020, Apple also acquired two virtual reality companies. The first was NextVR for 100 million dollars, which developed solutions for the capture and delivery of content of this technology in sports and entertainment. A few months later, he bought spacesspecializing in themed virtual environments and based on physical locations.
Apple, your healthcare company
For Apple, health is already part of its commitment to customer loyalty. The company’s research teams are actively exploring new health indicators that the Apple Watch could help monitor, such as glucose control, which appears to be forthcoming.
Last year, Apple announced a collaboration with Biogen IDEC to investigate how the device can detect declining cognitive health. They have also signed agreements with important health plans in the United States such as UnitedHealthcare and Aetna to offer loaner Apple Watch and other wellness services to its members.
Additionally, in 2019, the company purchased Tueo Health, which developed a system to help parents manage asthma symptoms in children while they sleep. This acquisition is yet another indication of Apple’s intention to engage consumers in health and wellness.
The commitment to make Siri intelligent
Although Siri and Apple seem to be lagging behind in terms of artificial intelligence seeing the advances of Microsoft or Google, their attempts have not stopped. In fact, it has made so many acquisitions of companies linked to this technology that it is starting to be difficult to keep up with them:
- laserlikean ML platform that could better customize Siri, news feeds, and video apps for individual users.
- voysisto improve Siri’s language understanding.
- inductivewhich developed an artificial intelligence platform to automatically identify and fix errors in data sets, helping software improve with less human intervention.
- Spectral Edgea company with infrared technology that could improve iPhone photos.
- In January 2020, Apple also acquired xnor.ai for $200 million, related to image capture and processing, natural language processing, and object recognition.
Apple, the component company
The switch from Intel’s Apple chips to its own hasn’t been built out of thin air. In fact, in a context of uncertainty, the Cupertino firm has been looking for new alliances in the semiconductor market for some time.
has been associated with TSMC, one of the most advanced semiconductor manufacturing companies in the world. It also acquired Intel’s smartphone modem manufacturing division in 2019 for $1 billion. The latter gave it a significant patent portfolio and added 2,200 former Intel employees to its ranks.
It has also acquired suppliers of other basic components for the manufacture of technological devices. For example, invested in Corningthe manufacturer of gorilla glassthe resistant glass used for the screens, not only of the iPhone, but of practically all the smartphones on the market.
Automotive industry patents
Although rumors of a possible Apple Car come and go, what is certain is that Apple is already partnering with companies as powerful as Volkswagen or registering patents related to cars.
In addition, Apple acquired the self-driving startup Drive.ai In 2019 and according to various reports, Apple has also held talks with Hyundai, Toyota and Porsche, to reach some kind of collaboration. Many of them probably result in the use of the new CarPlay that aims to completely replace the graphical interface in cars of other brands. But there are also rumors of meetings related to the Apple Car.
Media, entertainment and finance
In addition to all of the above, Apple is also dabbling in entertainment, media, and finance. In 2020, during the pandemic, Apple closed an undisclosed deal with sony to have distribution preference on Apple TV+ of several of his productions. The first production to come out of the agreement was the film Greyhoundstarring Tom Hanks.
We continue with media. Apple’s 2018 acquisition of the digital magazine service Texture laid the foundations of its subscription service AppleNews+released a year later, in 2019.
As far as finances are concerned, Apple bought in 2021 the fintech british Credit Kudos, which uses consumer bank details to perform more informed credit checks. They have also developed partnerships to grow their services, such as with PayHawk and isracard to extend Apple Pay. and finally with Goldman Sachs to launch its already mentioned credit card.