Apple looking to buy troubled iPhone graphics provider Imagination Technologies

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 22, 2016

Ars Technica reported this morning that Apple is in “advanced talks” regarding a possible takeover of British fabless semiconductor maker Imagination Technologies. The chip designer develops GPU blueprints that other companies license and incorporate into their own chips.

Apple owns at least a 9.5 percent stake in Imagination and has long used their PowerVR line of graphics-processing units (GPU) inside its own A-series processors since the emergence of the A4 chip, which powered the original iPad, the iPhone 4 and the fourth-generation iPod touch. Read More

 

Facebook acquires company behind popular face swapping app MSQRD

By Cody Lee on Mar 9, 2016

Facebook on Wednesday announced that it has acquired the popular face swapping app MSQRD, and the company behind it, Masquerade. The terms of the deal are unknown, but it’s being reported that the founders will be joining Facebook.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the app, MSQRD allows you to apply various filters and effects to your photos and videos—not unlike Snapchat’s ‘lenses.’ You can apply masks, hats and other accessories, or simply swap faces with others. Read More

 

Foxconn to acquire Sharp for $6.2 billion

By Cody Lee on Feb 24, 2016

Apple partner Foxconn is set to acquire Sharp for roughly 700 billion yen (or $6.2 billion USD), reports Nikkei Asian Review. The outlet says that Sharp’s board voted on Thursday morning to accept the offer, and plans to restructure its operations under the Hon Hai umbrella.

The deal, which has not been officially announced yet, comes after years of failed negotiations between the two companies. Foxconn has made several attempts to acquire the struggling electronics giant, or large pieces of it, with the latest offer of $5.3 billion coming in January. Read More

 

SwiftKey acquired by Microsoft for $250 million

By Cody Lee on Feb 2, 2016

Microsoft is buying out software keyboard maker SwiftKey, according to a report from The Financial Times. The deal is said to be worth $250 million, and the two companies are expected to officially announce the acquisition later this week.

While Microsoft has shown interest in the mobile keyboard space, the report claims that the purchase is all about AI. SwiftKey uses artificial intelligence to predict the next word a user is going to type based on an analysis of their writing style. Read More

 

Zagg acquires battery case maker Mophie for $100 million

By Cody Lee on Feb 2, 2016

Zagg has acquired popular battery case maker Mophie, the two companies announced on Tuesday. The Utah-based accessory giant has agreed to pay $100 million for Mophie, plus any EBITDA adjustments over that amount for the next year, in cash and debt.

In a press release sent out this afternoon, Zagg said that the transaction will leverage the unique strength of two “industry leaders” in the mobile accessories sector to create a business with greater product diversification and improved operational capabilities. Read More

 

Apple acquires education startup LearnSprout

By Cody Lee on Jan 28, 2016

Apple has acquired education-technology startup LearnSprout, reports Bloomberg. The outlet has received confirmation of the buyout with the boilerplate statement, “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

Terms of the deal are not known at this time, but we do know that the San Francisco-based LearnSprout has raised more than $4 million from investors. The company specializes in education tracking and analytical software, which it has rolled out to more than 2,500 US schools. Read More

 

Apple buys motion capture firm Faceshift

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 25, 2015

Apple has acquired a Zürich, Germany-based startup FaceShift which provides a proprietary technology for real-time motion capture that was used in the latest Star Wars film and in production of a number of high-profile video games. Apple has officially confirmed the deal in a prepared statement to TechCrunch.

Speculation is rife as to how Apple might be taking advantage of such a sophisticated motion capture technology in its own products, including potentially using it to power real-time avatars for FaceTime video chats. Read More

 

Google acquires iPhone app-maker Fly Labs for its Photos team

By Cody Lee on Nov 6, 2015

Fly Labs, the maker of popular photo and video editing apps for iOS, announced on Friday that it’s been acquired by Google. The company’s software library includes apps like Clips, Tempo, Crop, and Fly, which made Apple’s ‘Best of the App Store’ list in 2014.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but we do know that the folks at Fly Labs will be joining the Google Photos team and plan on pulling their apps from the App Store in 3 months. As a peace offering, they have made all of their apps free with no IAPs until then. Read More

 

Activision Blizzard is buying Candy Crush Saga maker King Digital for $5.9 billion

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 3, 2015

Renowned games publisher Activision Blizzard is purchasing King Digital, the maker of the popular Candy Crush Saga videogame series, in a transaction valued at a whooping $5.9 billion, the two companies announced Tuesday.

Activision, best-known for the World of Warcraft, Diablo and Call of Duty videogame series, said ABS Partners, a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, will acquire all of the outstanding shares of King for $18 in cash per share, for a total equity value of $5.9 billion. Read More

 

Apple acquires AI startup Perceptio

By Cody Lee on Oct 5, 2015

Following news last week that Apple acquired UK-based voice technology startup VocalIQ, Bloomberg reports that the company has also recently picked up AI startup Perceptio. A spokesman for Apple has confirmed the buyout with the usual boilerplate statement of “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.” Read More

 

Apple acquires UK-based voice technology startup VocalIQ

By Cody Lee on Oct 2, 2015

Apple has acquired UK-based voice technology startup VocalIQ, according to a report from the Financial Times. A spokesman for the Cupertino company has confirmed the buyout with the usual boilerplate statement of “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.” Read More

 

Apple acquires mapping visualization startup Mapsense

By Cody Lee on Sep 16, 2015

Apple has acquired Mapsense, a San Francisco-based startup that specializes in tools for analyzing and visualizing location data, Recode reports. A spokesperson confirmed the buyout, saying “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

The deal is said to be worth anywhere between $25 million and $30 million, and it includes Mapsense’s 12-person team and technology. That tech includes a cloud-based tool that allows users to manipulate graphical models of maps that hold huge sums of data, and a recently launched platform for developers. Read More

 

Apple believed to have acquired motion capture firm Faceshift

By Cody Lee on Sep 4, 2015

Apple may have bought Swiss real-time motion capture firm Faceshift in recent weeks, reports MacRumors. The site points to a company registry filing that shows all three of their original corporate directors stepped down in mid-August, and were replaced by a mergers and acquisitions attorney from Baker & McKenzie—a firm Apple frequently uses.

Faceshift has some interesting technology that can quickly and accurately capture facial expressions using 3D sensors. They’ve worked with both game and animation studios, and even built their own software. More recently, the company has been working on a Skype plugin that allows users to transform into avatar characters during real-time video chats. Read More

 

Adidas buys fitness app maker Runtastic for $239 million

By Cody Lee on Aug 5, 2015

Runtastic has been acquired by sportswear giant Adidas, the company’s CEO and co-founder Florian Gschwandtner announced in a blog post on Wednesday. The deal is said to be worth somewhere in the neighborhood of 220 million euros (or $239 million).

For those unfamiliar with Runtastic, it develops and maintains a number of fitness apps for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry. It has also dabbled in hardware with a GPS watch, a heart rate monitor, and the recently-released Orbit fitness tracker. Read More

 

Apple acquires augmented reality firm Metaio

By Cody Lee on May 28, 2015

Apple has acquired augmented reality startup Metaio, according to a recently surfaced legal document. A spokesperson for Apple confirmed the purchase to TechCrunch, saying “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

The filing claims that shares of Metaio were transferred over to the Cupertino firm between May 21st and 22nd, so it seems the acquisition was completed fairly recently. The company, which was essentially an offshoot of an AR project at German automaker Volkswagen, was founded in 2003. Read More

 

Apple acquires GPS firm Coherent Navigation

By Cody Lee on May 17, 2015

Apple appears to have quietly acquired San Francisco-based GPS firm Coherent Navigation, MacRumors reported on Sunday. Several of the company’s employees, including the CEO and co-founders, all started working for the iPhone-maker in recent months, and its domain servers were recently updated to point to Apple.

Among Coherent’s technology is something called High Integrity GPS, which offers greater accuracy and precision and higher signal integrity versus standard GPS. It accomplishes this by combining signals from both mid-earth orbiting GPS satellites low-earth satellites used by data provider Iridium for voice and data. Read More

 

Apple quietly purchased Dryft keyboard app last year

By Cody Lee on Apr 8, 2015

Apple quietly purchased Dryft, a startup that develops keyboard apps, according to a new report from TechCrunch. The site says that the acquisition happened sometime last year, but the financial terms of the deal are still not known.

Dryft, who TechCrunch notes was a finalist in its 2013 Disrupt startup battlefield competition, gained notoriety for its custom mobile keyboard that would only appear when the user placed their fingers on their device’s display. Read More

 

Apple reportedly acquired search startup Ottocat in 2013 to improve App Store discovery

By Cody Lee on Apr 6, 2015

Apple has quietly acquired Ottocat, reports TechCrunch, a little-known startup with some interesting search tech. The deal went down a few years ago—sometime in 2013—but its impact is still being felt today. The site believes the company’s tech is behind the App Store’s fairly new ‘Explore’ section.

There’s little evidence of the acquisition, except for a patent granted to Apple that lists Ottocat co-founder Edwin Cooper as an inventor. The patent is titled “System and Method for Divisive Textual Clustering by Label Selection Using Variant-Weighted TFIDF,” and clearly incorporates Ottocat’s tech. Read More

 

Samsung makes offer to buy BlackBerry for $7.5 billion

By Cody Lee on Jan 14, 2015

Samsung has recently approached BlackBerry with an acquisition offer, reports Reuters. Citing a person familiar with the matter, the outlet says that the Korean electronics giant offered as much as $7.5 billion to buy the struggling handset-maker.

Read More

 

Facebook acquiring web video startup QuickFire Networks

By Cody Lee on Jan 8, 2015

Facebook is purchasing the San Diego, California-based web video startup QuickFire Networks for an undisclosed amount. The company announced the acquisition on its website today, saying that “key members” of its team will be joining the social networking giant as it “winds down operations.”

QuickFire is known for its propriety software tech that significantly reduces the bandwidth needed to view video online without degrading its quality. The startup will help Facebook build an infrastructure capable of supporting the massive influx of video consumption it’s currently experiencing. Read More

 
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