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Predicting the future is a very tough business and Apple is a large company with war chest that rivals nations. They regularly buy companies every year, some for the technology and some for the talent. Some of the acquisition will make billions for Apple, some might just fizzle out as the talent and technology is not compatible to Apple. Here are the acquisitions Apple made in 2020 and what we think will happen:-
Hand curated podcast radio station. Station is personalized for each user. We think it will integrate with Apple Music and aligns with talk that Apple is going to launch Podcast+
Dark Sky is a popular weather app. features include hyperlocal weather. It’s a paid app in iOS. Since bought over from Apple, the Android version has been taken away form the Play store.
Voice AI platform. Better understanding natural language. We would guess to help improve Siri which now considered lacking compared with their competitors especially Google Voice Assistant despite having first mover advantage.
Specialized in recording events and sports. Should help efforts in VR and the possibility of the rumors Apple glasses.
Fleetsmith is Apple device management app for enterprises. Can help manage all Apple devices which includes iPhones, iPad, Macs but not Watches. As more and more businesses using those devices, having fleet management is a good idea. Apple has a solution for this, but it’s just very basic. I guess more improvements and features will be in store.
Mobeewave allows iPhone to be a credit card terminal with their App. Buying Square is too expensive for Apple, and this is a good enough solution. Expect Apple Pay to improve a notch for this.
Actually acquired between 2018 and 2019, but only announced in 2020. The company was focused on AR and computational photography. So do expect the camera app will get better with this. Since the acquisition was made around 1–2 years ago, not surprised if improvements has already been made.
VR startup. First started as on-location VR, then pivot to video conferencing due to COVID-19. Expect some more improvement to Animoji or Memoji capabilities on the iPhone.
Bonus: Curious AI
Acquired in 2020, the company develops artificial general intelligence. Focus on interactive and autonomous machine learning. Systems to make unsupervised machine learning better. Can’t really say what they are doing because most things mentioning them describe their work in board strokes about machine learning, which is like any other AI startup is doing. We have to see if this will help with Siri or not.
And there you have it, Apple acquisitions of 2020. Which one will create the biggest impact? It is very hard to say since ideas that bring the biggest impact also depends on timing of the launch. I think most will be an Apple feature or product in some more form for Apple, but it shows the exciting potential what the future will bring when a dedicated team of people put all their effort to making a dent in the universe.
One pattern that you see is the companies that Apple buying is not really competitors, but something that will bring synergy to Apple.
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