Apple reportedly buys Israeli facial recognition company RealFace

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 20, 2017

Hot on the heels of multiple reports calling for some sort of facial recognition on iPhone 8 to potentially augment or supplant Touch ID, news reaches us that Apple has acquired RealFace, a machine learning and facial recognition company hailing from Israel.

The Tel Aviv-based startup, founded in 2014 by Adi Eckhouse Barzilai and Aviv Mader, was bought for $2 million, according to the Times of Israel. Hebrew-language financial outlet Calcalist pegged the deal’s value at several millions dollars. RealFace is innovating user authentication with what it calls the worlds leading facial recognition technology. Read More

 

Apple’s risk aversion and arrogance blamed for lack of large takeovers

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 15, 2017

Apple’s boss Tim Cook said on a recent earnings call with investors and analysts that his company on average acquired between fifteen to twenty smaller companies per year for the last four years, noting that Apple looks for startups of all sizes. “There’s not a size that we wouldn’t do based on just the size of it, it’s more about the strategic value of it,” he said.

A new report Wednesday from Bloomberg alleges that Apple’s reluctance to cooperate with third-party advisers like investment banks, risk aversion and internal acquisition strategy are standing in the way of large takeovers. Read More

 

Sprint acquires 33 percent stake in Tidal, Jay Z’s Apple Music rival

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 23, 2017

U.S. wireless carrier Sprint announced Monday that it’s buying one-third of Tidal, Jay Z’s music-streaming service, in a bid to give customers exclusive content not available anywhere else. That’s right, Tidal and its artists will produce exclusive content that will only be available to current and new Sprint customers.

While Sprint now owns 33 percent of Tidal, Jay Z & Co. will continue to run the artist-centric service. Sprint’s CEO Marcelo Claure will join Tidal’s Board of Directors. Read More

 

Spotify has gone cold on rumored SoundCloud deal

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 8, 2016

Spotify, the world’s top on-demand music service, is not buying Berlin, Germany-headquartered audio distribution platform SoundCloud after all, TechCrunch has learned.

Spotify has reportedly given up on its latest effort to buy SoundCloud realizing, after months of talks, that any such deal would probably negatively impact its impending initial public offering (IPO) and expected expansions in China, Russia and South Korea. Read More

 

Fitbit buys Pebble’s software assets, but cancels new hardware

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 7, 2016

Fitbit, the maker of popular activity and fitness trackers, has officially acquired Pebble. The deal was finalized this morning, both companies have said.

The acquisition includes all of Pebble’s software assets, but excludes any hardware. Yup, that’s right—looks like the Pebble smartwatch is officially dead.

“Due to various factors, Pebble is no longer able to operate as an independent entity,” the company said. “We have made the tough decision to shut down the company and no longer manufacture Pebble devices.” Read More

 

Apple acquires talent and technology from bankrupt music startup Omnifone

By Cody Lee on Nov 7, 2016

Apple has acquired talent and technology from defunct streaming music startup Omnifone, reports TechCrunch. It’s not a full buyout, so you’re not going to see the usual “Apple buys smaller companies from time to time” statement, but the outlet says it’s hired at least 16 of their employees and purchased select technology. Read More

 

CNBC: there’s no Time Warner bid coming from Apple “at this point”

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 2, 2016

U.S. wireless carrier AT&T recently announced it had agreed to buy Time Warner in a blockbuster deal valued at more than $85 billion.

Apple reportedly approached the media giant recently about a possible deal, but the discussions were only preliminary and didn’t move forward.

With the AT&T-Time Warner merger requiring regulatory approval that could take months, things could easily change so no wonder watchers have been keeping their fingers crossed for Apple to step in and make a rival bid for Time Warner.

However, “Apple is not interested in buying Time Warner at present,” people familiar with the thinking at the company told CNBC on Wednesday. Read More

 

Samsung buying Viv, the AI assistant developed by Siri creators

By Cody Lee on Oct 5, 2016

Samsung has agreed to acquire Viv, the next-gen AI assistant that was developed by Siri co-founders Dag Kittlaus and Adam Cheyer. TechCrunch reports that it will continue to operate as an independent company, providing services to Samsung and its platforms.

Viv made numerous headlines earlier this year, when the team demonstrated the power of its assistant. In one scenario, it was able to successfully order a pizza over the Internet customized with toppings from several employees with a few simple voice commands. Read More

 

Spotify said to be in advanced talks to buy SoundCloud

By Cody Lee on Sep 28, 2016

Spotify is in advanced talks to acquire SoundCloud, reports the Financial Times. The streaming music service believes the buyout could help it better compete with competitors like Apple Music thanks to its large library of exclusive and user-created content. Read More

 

Apple buys machine learning startup Tuplejump

By Cody Lee on Sep 22, 2016

Apple has acquired an India/US-based machine learning startup known as Tuplejump, reports TechCrunch. The company has essentially confirmed the buyout, offering up its typical “Apple buys smaller technology companies” statement.

This is the iPhone-maker’s third publicly-known purchase of a machine learning company within the last year. Remember it bought out artificial intelligence startup Perceptio at the end of last year, and Seattle-based Turi a few months ago. Read More

 
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