Apple has long been trying to put its eggs in more baskets. And not just by cyclically introducing new devices – from the Mac and iPod to the iPhone and iPad, the AirPods or the Apple Watch – but by shifting more and more weight to its services division.
Although its products continue to account for almost 80 of its revenue, commissions from the AppStore, Apple One, Apple Music, iCloud or Apple TV+ subscriptions. to a lesser extent grow in relative importance each year in their accounts. In addition, in recent years, advertising has added to this, where Apple, under its commitment to user privacy, has managed to take market share away from direct competitors such as Google or Meta.
This diversification does not stop there. It is obvious that Apple has also long been beginning to position itself in the collective mind of its users as a partner of their work productivity, their health -this aspect in a very concrete way for the wearers of an Apple Watch-. or even their finances. The latter, in the United States for the time being, with the launch of the Apple Card.
But, in addition, a review of its most recent purchases and acquisitions can also tell us in which new sectors Apple is placing its interests going forward. Looking back here provides valuable perspective. Twenty years ago, for example, Apple was not involved in most of the businesses mentioned above. Who knows what the Apple of the future will do, but this journey, brings us some light. Not for nothing, the company has acquired more than 25 companies since 2018.
Augmented reality, the bet that is already here.
Speculative design of Apple’s AR glasses.
If the rumors are true, Apple will unveil its augmented reality glasses/headset in just a few monthsApple will be presenting its augmented reality glasses/helmet in just a few months, entering fully into a sector that until now it had only touched with its 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 augmented reality and computer vision technology startup based in Israel, and Akonia Holographicsa developer, also, of augmented reality. These purchases helped increase Apple’s patent portfolio and talent pool, 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, which developed solutions for capturing and delivering content for this technology in sports and entertainment. A few months later, it bought Spacesspecializing in themed virtual environments 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 monitoring, which appears to be coming soon.
Last year, Apple announced a collaboration with Biogen IDEC to investigate how the device can detect cognitive health decline. They have also signed agreements with major U.S. health plans, such as UnitedHealthcare y Aetna to offer Apple Watch loaner and other wellness services to its members.
In addition, in 2019, the company purchased Tueo Healthwhich developed a system to help parents manage asthma symptoms in children while they sleep. This acquisition is a further indication of Apple’s intention to engage consumers in health and wellness.
The bid to make Siri smart
Although Siri and Apple seem to be lagging behind in artificial intelligence seeing the advances of Microsoft or Google, their attempts have not censored. In fact, it has made so many acquisitions of companies linked to this technology that it is beginning 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 comprehension.
- Inductivwhich developed an artificial intelligence platform to automatically identify and correct errors in data sets, helping software to 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 components company
Apple’s switch from Intel’s chips to its own was not built out of thin air. Indeed, against a backdrop of uncertainty, the Cupertino firm has long been looking for new partnerships in the semiconductor market.
It has partnered with TSMCone of the world’s most advanced semiconductor manufacturing companies. 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 core components for manufacturing technology devices. For example, it invested in Corningthe manufacturer of Gorilla Glassthe tough glass used for the screens not only of the iPhone, but of virtually all smartphones on the market.
Patents in the automotive sector.
Although rumors of a possible Apple Car come and go, what is certain is that Apple is already partnering with such powerful companies as Volkswagen or filing car-related patents.
In addition, Apple acquired the autonomous driving startup. Drive.ai in 2019 and according to several reports, Apple has also held talks with Hyundai, Toyota and Porsche, to reach some kind of collaboration. Many of them, probably, derive 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 Apple Car.
Media, entertainment and finance
In addition to all of the above, Apple is also making inroads into entertainment, media, and finance. In 2020, during the pandemic, Apple closed an undisclosed deal with Sony for distribution preference on Apple TV+ of several of its productions. The first production to come out of the agreement was the movie Greyhoundstarring Tom Hanks.
We continue with media. Apple’s 2018 acquisition of the digital magazine service. Texture laid the foundation for its subscription service Apple News+, released a year later in 2019.
On the financial side, Apple bought in 2021 the. fintech British Credit Kudoswhich uses consumer banking data to perform better-informed credit checks. They have also developed partnerships to grow their services, such as with PayHawk e Isracard to extend Apple Pay. And finally with Goldman Sachs to launch its aforementioned credit card.