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AI、AR/VR和医疗 苹果公司的收购版图到底有多大?

苹果许多收购行为最终都已融入产品。那么其近期活动可揭示未来项目何种讯息?

苹果全球开发者大会于6月5日召开,我们利用CB Insights数据分析了苹果公司私人收购活动,并创制了其自2010年来活动时间表。

自2010年起,苹果公司进行了62起公开收购活动,但在2013年前完成的仅有13起。相交2014年以前的时间段,过去几年收购交易数明显上升。最近,苹果公司在收购AI领域尤为活跃,涉及语音识别、计算机视觉及人脸识别技术。此外,苹果公司的收购触角还伸向了AR/VR 领域。

下图为CB Insights对苹果公司活动概述。

2010年来,苹果收购的大多数公司为A轮融资企业,如FoundationDB、Cue及Catch.com。 其最大的收购活动为2014年以30亿美元购入Beats。但自2010年起,苹果完成的披露估值亿级以上的收购活动共有11起。其还收购了Anobit Technologies与PrimeSense。 麦德罗纳风险投资集团(Madrona Venture Group)所投企业被苹果收购的最多,有Lattice Data、Turi、Union Bay Networks。

按主题划分,苹果投资的领域有:

  • AI:近期,苹果大肆收购人工智能企业。自2010年收购Siri后,该公司近年完成了数起语音技术相关收购,如购入VocalIQ与Novauris Technologies。
  • AR/VR:该公司其他人工智能技术相关收购活动涉及AR/VR应用,如Emotient、RealFace及Faceshift等用于人脸识别与计算机视觉的公司。在AR领域,其还购入了FlyBy Media与Metaio。
  • 医疗:苹果某些收购行为表明其也可能开始涉足医疗(Gliimpse、Beddit)与教育(Sproutling)领域。在此领域,有病人表示其希望看到更为深入严肃的方案。然而目前苹果公司已在谨慎推进。
  • 芯片与半导体:除Beats外,苹果公司最大的收购活动是购入半导体公司(Anobit Technologies,、PrimeSense,、AuthenTec)。据称,苹果公司已在制造自有AI芯片,预计在该领域的收购活动还会增多。
  • 应用商店与开发者工具:苹果公司还进行了几起收购,以改善应用商城内搜索及发现(Chomp与Ottocat),并改进工具,帮助开发者进行广告管理(Burstly)。
  • 照片:照片在手机中的作用越来越重要,苹果公司进行了几起收购,提升照片管理与分享(Color、Polar Rose)、相机应用(SnappyLabs)与相机本身质量(Linx Computational Imaging)。
  • 音乐:自2001年退出iPod、2013年上线iTunes后,音乐是苹果成功之路中最为重要的优势之一。除其最大的收购活动Beat Music外(助力苹果开发其自有音乐流媒体服务),苹果公司还收购了音乐分析技术公司(Semetirc)及可创作更为专业音乐的工具与Logic Pro系列(Camel Audio,Redmatica)。
  • 地图:自2012年与谷歌地图技术斩断关系后,苹果决定研发自己的地图。2013年其大举收购地图相关技术企业,如Hopstop、Embark、Locationary、WiFiSLAM等。如果该公司持续进军自动驾驶领域,那么这些地图数据或许有用,近期,苹果公司收购了室内地图公司io,或可影响VR/AR应用与地图领域。

Many of Apple's acquisitions have ended up integrated into products today. What can recent acquisitions tell us about future projects?

With WWDC starting today, we used CB Insights data to analyze Apple’s private acquisitions and create a timeline of activity since 2010.

The company has made 62 disclosed acquisitions since 2010, though only 13 of them were before 2013. There is a distinct uptick in the number of acquisitions that have happened in the last few years, compared to pre-2014. Most recently, Apple has been particularly active in making AI acquisitions, spanning speech recognition, computer vision, and facial recognition. In addition, the company has also made acquisitions in the AR/VR space.

Below is a snapshot of the activity from our platform.

Since 2010, most of Apple’s acquisitions have been of Series A companies, including FoundationDB, Cue, and Catch.com. Apple’s largest acquisition was Beats for $3B in 2014, but the company has made a total of 11 acquisitions with disclosed valuations above $100M since 2010. Others include Anobit Technologies and PrimeSense. Madrona Venture Group has had the most portfolio companies acquired by Apple, including Lattice Data, Turi, and Union Bay Networks.

Thematically, Apple has invested in several areas including:

  • AI: Recently, Apple has been on an acquisition spree for artificial intelligence companies. After acquiring Siri in 2010, the company has made several speech acquisitions in recent years including VocalIQ and Novauris Technologies.
  • AR/VR: Others AI acquisitions indicate AR/VR applications like Emotient, RealFace, and Faceshift, which could have uses in facial recognition and machine vision. Other AR acquisitions include the purchases of FlyBy Media and metaio.
  • Healthcare: Some acquisitions suggest that Apple could be getting into healthcare (Gliimpse, Beddit) and education (Sproutling) too. They also have patents in these areas that suggest they might be looking more seriously, though at the moment they have been moving in cautiously.
  • Chips & Semiconductors - Outside of Beats, Apple’s largest acquisitions were of semiconductor companies (Anobit Technologies, PrimeSense, AuthenTec). With the company reportedly on track to make their own AI chips, we could see more acquisitions in this area.
  • App Store + Developer Tools – The company has made several acquisitions to improve search and discovery in the App Store (Chomp and Ottocat) and tools to help developers with ad management (Burstly).
  • Photos – With photos becoming a more important part of the phone offering, the company made several acquisitions to help with photo management/sharing (Color, Polar Rose), camera applications (SnappyLabs), and camera quality itself (Linx Computational Imaging).
  • Music – Music has been one of the most important levers of Apple’s success since the launch of iPod and iTunes in 2001 and 2013, respectively. While the largest acquisition has been Beats Music (helping Apple develop their music streaming offering), the company has also made acquisitions in music analytics (Semetric) as well as tools for more professional music production and the Logic Pro suite (Camel Audio, Redmatica).
  • Mapping - After severing ties with Google for their mapping technology in 2012, Apple decided to make their own. This began a spree of mapping acquisitions in a short period of time in 2013, including Hopstop, Embark, Locationary, and WiFiSLAM among others. This kind of mapping data could prove useful to Apple if they continue to make inroads into the autonomous car space. The company has also recently acquired a company in the indoor mapping space, Indoor.io, which could have implications for mapping areas for augmented/virtual reality.

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