Even though Apple has nearly $140 billion in cash reserves and can afford to acquire almost any company on the planet for strategic or other reasons, the firm does rigorous research of every of the potential targets and at the end does not make truly large takeovers. While Apple intends to buy companies whose technologies and personnel can improve its products over time, large deals are unlikely to happen.
“We have looked at large companies. In each case that we have done that, it did not pass our tests,” said Tim Cook, chief executive of Apple, at the Goldman Sachs technology conference earlier this week.
In the last three years Apple acquired around six companies per year on average. In all cases, Apple saw the value in technologies that those firms have already developed as well as talented personnel, who can further boost Apple’s pool of engineers.
One of the best examples of Apple’s successful acquisitions are PA Semi, which formed the backbone of Apple’s chip development. Today, Apple not only assembles its own system-on-chip designs, but creates custom ARM-compatible processing cores. Another good example is takeover of SRI International, which evolved into creation of Siri intelligent personal assistant for iPhone and iPad. Both PA Semi and SRI were relatively small firms when Apple bought them.
Considering the fact that large companies usually have product lines and existing customers, they are unlikely to be bought by Apple since the firm clearly does not want to make acquisitions in order to boost revenues.