Apple has acquired 5 companies since April, 29 in past nine months

By Cody Lee on Jul 22, 2014

One of the more interesting tidbits from today’s earnings call was a revelation about Apple’s recent acquisitions. Tim Cook said the company has purchased 5 companies since the end of the March quarter, and a total of 29 companies during the past 9 months.

Apparently these numbers do not include the Beats Electronics deal—Apple’s largest acquisition to date—because it has not completely finalized yet, and isn’t expected to until later this quarter. So who are the other companies? These are the ones we know about… Read More

 

Google buys Songza, Rdio acquires TastemakerX

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 1, 2014

Google Music with its scan-and-match feature and streaming doesn’t seem to be picking up any significant steam, and that’s despite (or in spite of) Google’s scale and an impressive one billion active Android devices in the wild.

Hoping to hit back at Apple and Beats, the Internet giant on Tuesday announced it’s snapped up streaming music service Songza which, like Apple-owned Beats, specializes in finding the right music to fit your mood.

And in related music news, the popular Internet radio service Rdio today said it’s acquiring TastemakerX, a music discovery and curation service… Read More

 

Google-owned Nest acquires Dropcam for $555 million

By Cody Lee on Jun 21, 2014

Smart thermostat-maker Nest announced on Friday that it has reached an agreement to acquire Dropcam. The company, which itself was purchased by Google earlier this year, says that the all-cash deal is worth a hefty $555 million.

For those unfamiliar with Dropcam, it’s behind the popular line of Internet-connected home monitoring cameras. Major selling points for the cameras include easy setup, 2-way audio and remote streaming via any PC or mobile device… Read More

 

Samsung could acquire Nuance, the company behind Siri’s speech recognition engine

By Joe Rossignol on Jun 16, 2014

The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that Nuance Communications has been in talks with Samsung and private-equity firms about a possible sale of the company. The report, which cites sources with knowledge on the matter, claims it is unclear where sales talks currently stand, or whether these talks will actually materialize into a sale… Read More

 

How Google could soon tell when the next iPhone will be released

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 16, 2014

My headline isn’t an exaggeration. The Internet giant last week announced buying satellite imaging company Skybox Imaging for $500 million, which is peanuts, really, when you consider what Skybox does for a living. The company has satellites that circle the orbit of the Earth and take very detailed photographs of the terrain.

On the surface, the acquisition should help keep Google Maps accurate with up-to-date imagery. Google on its part has said the Skybox buy will also help them improve Internet access and disaster relief. So, what does any of this have to do with the iPhone?

Read on… Read More

 

Apple wanted to buy Parse for iOS 8 CloudKit

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 16, 2014

CloudKit, one of the few platform-enhancing features Apple rolled out at WWDC, had to be created entirely from scratch because the Cupertino firm has failed at buying Parse, a startup that provides much of CloudKit-like functionality.

CloudKit frees up programmers from needing to devote their resources toward building server-side application logic themselves. It does so by providing a common set of APIs for server-based authentication, private and public database, structured and asset storage services and much more.

According to a scoop by The Information, a technology website by former WSJ writer Jessica Lessin, the iPhone maker considered purchasing Parse before Facebook… Read More

 

Apple partner OpenTable to be acquired by Priceline for $2.6 billion

By Cody Lee on Jun 13, 2014

Priceline has announced today that it has reached an agreement to acquire online restaurant reservation service and Apple content partner OpenTable. The travel site will be doling out $103 per share in the all cash transaction, which is said to be worth $2.6 billion.

For those unfamiliar with it, OpenTable facilitates restaurant reservations through its website and mobile apps. Apple has long been a proponent of the service, which it reaffirmed in 2012 by integrating it into its digital assistant Siri, as part of the year’s iOS 6 updateRead More

 

Synaptics acquiring iPhone display chipmaker Renesas SP Drivers for $475 million

By Cody Lee on Jun 11, 2014

As expected, touchscreen chipmaker has announced that it will be buying Renesas SP Drivers, the sole supplier of display chips for the iPhone. The deal is said to be worth $475 million—around the same price Apple was rumored to bid for the company earlier this year.

For those unfamiliar with Renesas, it’s a joint venture between Powerchip and Sharp that specializes in building LCD drivers for small and mid-sized LCD panels. These chips determine a display’s quality, and typically account for around 10% of a device’s battery usage… Read More

 

Apple acquires location recommendation service Spotsetter

By Cody Lee on Jun 6, 2014

Apple has quietly acquired location-based recommendation service ‘Spotsetter,’ according to TechCrunch. The site doesn’t offer any specifics on the deal, but does note that it’s hearing that investors in the company are “happy, so to speak.”

The buyout is said to be mainly about acquiring Spotsetter’s technology, and the talent of the two founders—one of which is an ex-Google Maps engineer. LinkedIn profiles show that the pair, and much of their team, are now working at Apple… Read More

 

Beats buy and iTunes Radio limitations blamed on Apple’s ‘arrogance’ and incompetent managers

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 6, 2014

According to two Apple sources familiar with the development of iTunes Radio, current limitations of the free service and the $3 billion acquisition of Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre’s Beats talent, brand, headphone business and streaming service is all the result of the firm’s “arrogance” and shortsightedness of its managers.

Worse, some high-ranked members of Apple’s music teams reportedly didn’t even know that Spotify was an on-demand streaming service and not an Internet radio service akin to Pandora and iTunes Radio… Read More

 

Bloomberg: T-Mobile and Sprint close to finalizing buyout deal

By Cody Lee on Jun 4, 2014

Bloomberg is reporting this afternoon that Sprint and T-Mobile are getting very close to reaching a deal for acquisition. The outlet says that the purchase, if agreed upon, will be made in about 50% stock and 50% cash, but there’s no word yet on price.

Sprint has been rumored to be interested in T-Mobile for months now. The carrier, which was recently taken over by Japan’s SoftBank, has been impressed with the ‘uncarrier’ movement, and a buyout will make it more of a threat to AT&T and Verizon…

Read More

 

How the Apple-Beats deal affects HP, AT&T and others

By Joe Rossignol on May 31, 2014

If you haven’t been following the latest news, it is a prerequisite to know that Apple has acquired Beats for $3 billion before reading further. The announcement has created a lot of confusion in regards to what the acquisition means for Beats and existing partnerships with the brand. Just to be clear, Beats collectively refers to both Beats Electronics, which markets high-end headphones, speakers and audio software, and the streaming music service Beats Music.

Prior to being acquired, Beats had several partnerships with other brands, including companies that are direct competitors with Apple. Most notable is Hewlett-Packard, which uses Beats Audio branding and technologies in its product lineup. AT&T has an exclusive deal with Beats Music to sell subscriptions and an unlimited music downloading family plan, and design firm Ammunition has a partnership to create Beats products. Even HTC has been in the mix.

Read ahead to find out how the Apple-Beats deal affects all of these deals…

Read More

 

Apple paid $500M for Beats Music, $2.5B for Beats hardware (and other tidbits)

By Christian Zibreg on May 29, 2014

According to a breakdown of Apple’s $3 billion Beats buy published Thursday by The Wall Street Journal, the company basically paid less than $500 million for the Beats Music subscription service and about $2.5 billion for Beats Electronics LCC, which makes the popular Beats headphones, speakers and audio software (which some dismiss as a software equalizer that boosts the bass).

The report alleges that the acquisition – the most expensive in Apple’s history – gives the Cupertino firm Beats’ brand power and star leadership. The story downplays the importance of the generic Beats Music streaming service to the overall deal…

Read More

 

Apple acquires Beats for $3 billion

By Joe Rossignol on May 28, 2014

After weeks of speculation, Apple confirmed just moments ago that it has reached a deal to acquire Beats Electronics and Beats Music for $3 billion. Beats co-founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre will be joining Apple, the company announced. Beats is best known for its popular lineup of headphones, speakers and audio software, and in January launched a new streaming music service called Beats Music in partnership with AT&T.

This marks the largest acquisition that Apple has ever made, divided into a purchase price of $2.6 billion and approximately $400 million that will vest over time. But it comes at a pivotal time for Apple, as iTunes music sales decline in light of the rising popularity of streaming music services. Apple will now operate its own streaming music service in Beats Music, going head on against competitors like Spotify and Pandora…

Read More

 

Tim Cook interviews offer more details on Beats acquisition

By Cody Lee on May 28, 2014

In addition to giving comments for the press release and writing a memo to employees, Tim Cook apparently invited a handful of high profile journalists to Apple’s Cupertino headquarters today to talk about the just-announced Beats acquisition.

Cook spoke with reporters from the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Financial Times and other publications this afternoon on the Beats buyout. And we’ve rounded up some of the more interesting tidbits from each interview, below… Read More

 

Synaptics beats Apple to the punch on Renesas SP Drivers acquisition

By Christian Zibreg on May 27, 2014

Apple has failed to follow through with its rumored acquisition of the chipmaker Renesas Electronics’ mobile display chip division, Renesas SP Drivers. Reuters reported Tuesday that the iPhone maker has definitely lost its bid to acquire Renesas to Synaptics, a company that builds touchpads and touchscreens for an array of mobile and desktop devices.

The development is especially newsworthy given that Synaptics was once an Apple supplier (the company is not listed on Apple’s list of 2014 suppliers). Basically, this means that the powerful consumer electronics powerhouse has gotten outbid by one of its former suppliers… Read More

 

Billboard: Apple-Beats deal delayed due to valuation, role uncertainties

By Cody Lee on May 24, 2014

Billboard is out with a new report this weekend, claiming that it’s learned why the Apple-Beats acquisition has not been announced yet. Citing sources familiar with the matter, the outlet says that there are at least 5 things holding up the deal.

First, the buyout is ‘complicated.’ With this being Apple’s largest purchase ever, the folks in Cupertino want to make sure they cross every and dot every i. And second, the iPad-maker was nowhere near ready for details of the negotiations to leak… Read More

 

New report says Apple-Beats deal was close to falling apart, but is still on

By Cody Lee on May 22, 2014

It’s been two weeks since we first received word that Apple was looking to acquire Beats Electronics, and we still haven’t heard a peep about the sale from either company. Some folks have taken the silence as a sign talks had broken down, but a new report says that’s not the case.

According to TechCrunch, sources with knowledge of the deal say that Apple’s planned multi-billion dollar acquisition of headphone maker Beats will go through. The outlet does note, however, that negotiations have been bumpy and close to falling apart on multiple occasions… Read More

 

AT&T announces acquisition of DirecTV for close to $50 billion

By Cody Lee on May 18, 2014

As expected, AT&T has announced today that it has reached a deal to acquire satellite TV heavyweight DirecTV. The buyout will come in the form of a stock-and-cash transaction—$95 per share based on AT&T’s Friday closing price—worth in upwards of $50 billion.

Between DirecTV’s satellite business and AT&T’s U-verse arm, the move results in a combined 26 million TV subscribers. That essentially makes AT&T the number one pay-TV provider, second if the long-rumored Comcast/Time Warner Cable deal ever goes through… Read More

 

Google buys visual translation app Word Lens

By Christian Zibreg on May 16, 2014

Google has just purchased Quest Visual for an undisclosed price. The startup is behind the innovative Word Lens application which Apple recently highlighted in its ‘Powerful’ Phone 5s ad. The deal was confirmed in the startup’s blog post.

The team has decided to make both the Word Lens app and the additional language packs free to download for a limited time, “while we transition to Google”. If you haven’t tried out Word Lens yet, you should do so right now, while it’s still available.

The remarkable software taps Quest Visual’s technology to detect text in a live video feed coming from your iPhone’s camera. It then replaces foreign language words and sentences with an appropriate translation – matching fonts and graphics, in real time! Read More

 
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