Apple’s fruitful 2013 acquisitions: Maps, chips, data, and more

“Apple’s 2013 acquisition spree continued this week. The iPhone maker reportedly purchased search analytics firm Topsy for ‘more than $200 million,'” Maureen Farrell reports for The Wall Street Journal. “On his third quarter conference call, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook said that the company had made 15 acquisitions in 2013.”

“Dealogic tracked down 10 of the companies purchased by Apple this year. Apple typically keeps it acquisitions quiet and rarely discloses a purchase price,” Farrell reports. “Here’s a rundown of what Apple is getting from its busy year.”

Maps: WiFiSLAM,, Locationary, and Embark
Chips (semiconductors): Passif Semiconductor, PrimeSense, and AlgoTrim
Data: Topsy
Others: and Cue

Read more about each Apple acquisition here.


  1. Given how tight a ship Apple runs, it would be very interesting:
    A. How Apple assesses the potential acquisition vis a vis Apple’s corporate structure et al

    B. How Apple runs that acquisition going forward
    Does Tim Cook insist on new acquisitions running their ship the same as Apple, let them continue in their own way?

    Love to be a fly on the wall during those discussions.

    1. Apple folds these acquisitions into its way of doing things. it has to, otherwise Apple could not properly continue developing such great products. Just look at Microsoft as an example of acquisitions not working out.

      I think this is a huge aspect of Tim Cook’s tenure thus far that has been vastly overlooked — he seems to have a definite direction for Apple to expand into services, data, information, but tie such services to Apple hardware products and OSes. That could make Apple virtually impossible to match, let alone beat.

    2. When Apple acquires a company, it usually gets shut down – all services halted and products dropped after current contracts expire. The IP and any remaining engineers are then consumed by Apple and all focus is eventually turned towards internal projects.

      Most people don’t understand that Apple doesn’t buy companies for their products or brand, they buy them for their expertise (intellectual property and engineers) in a specific field.

      Their latest purchase, Topsy, is a data-oriented company: mining, indexing, analyzing, searching, etc. Their algorithms are extremely efficient and fast at parsing through vast amounts of real time data. And as a side bonus, it gives Apple direct access to the Twitter “firehose” which can be used to gain access to the current social consciousness. Topsy’s current business model is reselling that collated data to 3rd party advertising agencies. More than likely, Apple will shutdown this service and keep the data to themselves, as they can afford to pay Twitter for the feed without resorting to reselling the data to others. That is, of course, if Apple desires continued access the Twitter data.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.