Apple’s mini buying spree

“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.” — Apple PR boilerplate

From Mark Gurman’s “Apple Buys Startup That Creates Radio-Like Stations for Podcasts” posted on Bloomberg late Thursday:

The Cupertino, California-based technology giant earlier this year bought Scout FM, which was a popular podcast app on iPhones, Android devices and Amazon smart speakers, according to people with knowledge of the deal…

An Apple spokesman confirmed the acquisition, but declined to comment further. The company shut down the app after the purchase…

The deal for Scout FM is one of several Apple has made so far in 2020. It recently acquired payments company Mobeewave, weather app Dark Sky and virtual-reality content broadcasting company NextVR. Other purchases include Voysis, Xnor.ai and Inductiv to improve Siri and artificial intelligence, Fleetsmith for enterprise device management and VR software startup Spaces.

My take: Note that Apple has not picked up Netflix, Spotify, Disney, Tesla or any of the other big names it is regularly urged to acquire.

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7 Comments

  1. Romeo A Esparrago Jr said:
    Regardless of its size, looks like Apple likes to run it lean and agile, whether in a scrum, a sprint, or even under a waterfall. Iterative, kaizen-like expansion within itself, without heavy anchors. Big? Only in results, thinking, vision, innovation, valuation, and profits.

    3
    September 25, 2020
  2. Fred Stein said:
    Apple has picked up one big name, Apple. Their ROI has been spectacular.

    11
    September 25, 2020
  3. Jerry Doyle said:
    Apple desires to inculcate its DNA into the final product. It is this reason, I believe, Apple acquisitions target smaller companies showing burgeoning new and expanding innovative ideas. Larger companies such as Netflix, Spotify, Disney, Tesla already have “their” DNA entrenched and that would pose a significant barrier for Apple to mesh its DNA into larger established acquisitions. It’s all about the Apple DNA. I believe this may be what Romeo E infers with his comment, “… Iterative, kaizen-like expansion within itself, without heavy anchors.” Agree!

    4
    September 25, 2020
  4. Kirk DeBernardi said:
    Stickin’ to the knittin’.

    1
    September 25, 2020
  5. Gregg Thurman said:
    Note that Apple has not picked up Netflix, Spotify, Disney, Tesla or any of the other big names it is regularly urged to acquire.

    I look at past examples of growth by acquisition, and I see an extensive and expensive trail of financial failures. Certainly none of these past loves of WS ever achieved anything that looked even remotely like greatness. They were all like the greatest of all mediocrity: the Windows based personal computer, a device glommed together from disparate parts with the hopes of dominating the world, only to watch each of its rising hardware stars fall into bankrupt obscurity.

    The only winners in large scale M&A (so often recommended for Apple) are the WS investment bankers that put together the financing to make them possible.

    1
    September 25, 2020
  6. Steven Philips said:
    Jerry: I was thinking along the same lines. But you said it better than I thunk it!

    0
    September 26, 2020

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