The iPhone maker said in a Jan. 28 regulatory filing that it paid $525 million on deals last quarter, almost double what was spent a year earlier.
The deals show Cook putting Apple’s $159 billion of cash and investments to work snapping up companies whose products can be integrated into future gadgets or services. The acquisitions, typically small, included PrimeSense Ltd., the maker of motion-tracking chip technology; Topsy Labs Inc., a data-analytics firm; search engine Cue; and mapping software company Broadmap.
Maynard Um, an analyst at Wells Fargo & Co. (WF) who highlighted the acquisition spending in a research note yesterday, said Apple has been especially aggressive trying to find companies that can help it improve the mapping service it introduced in 2012 to challenge Google Inc.
Apple typically buys lesser-known startups, then shuts down the services and integrates the technology into future products. An acquisition in 2010 led to the introduction of voice-recognition feature Siri, and another deal from that year led to the creation of the company’s iAd mobile-advertising service.
Kristin Huguet, a spokeswoman for Apple, declined to comment.
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