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  • Wed, Oct. 5, 7:18 PM
    • Samsung (OTC:SSNLF +3.2%) is buying Viv Labs, the company formed by the creators of Apple's Siri digital assistant.
    • Siri's creators left Apple two years after their company was acquired, and set about creating Viv -- said to be a more powerful, extensible iteration of Siri technology.
    • The move may present Samsung's first real possible rival to Apple's Siri (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google Now (GOOG, GOOGL), though Viv has yet to launch.
    • Terms were undisclosed, though Viv will reportedly operate independently, providing its technology as a service to Samsung and its platforms.
    | Wed, Oct. 5, 7:18 PM | 29 Comments
  • Wed, Oct. 5, 7:08 PM
    | Wed, Oct. 5, 7:08 PM | 121 Comments
  • Thu, Sep. 22, 2:40 PM
    • Apple's (AAPL +0.8%reportedly offered its "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans" response to queries by TechCrunch.
    • With the acquisition of Turi in August, such a deal would further a heightening trend of large-cap companies buying out smaller machine-learning, deep-learning and other AI-affiliated platforms (recently Nervana, Movidius, Api.ai).
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    | Thu, Sep. 22, 2:40 PM | 20 Comments
  • Mon, Aug. 22, 9:51 AM
    • Gliimpse was launched in 2013 with a vision of building "personalized and shareable medical records."
    • Apple's (AAPL -0.4%) existing initiatives in the medical arena include HealthKit, ResearchKit and CareKit.
    • The company has reportedly issued its usual, "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans," response regarding a deal, typically taken as confirmation an agreement has been struck.
    | Mon, Aug. 22, 9:51 AM | 25 Comments
  • Fri, Aug. 5, 5:05 PM
    • Following previous artificial intelligence and machine-learning acquisitions, it is being reported Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has bought Turi, a "machine learning platform for developers and data scientists."
    • Apple has commented the following to multiple sources in regard to the buzz: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans." This is historically the response Apple provides when making this type of acquisition. The price tag is a reported $200M.
    • The move follows a seemingly necessary trend among companies like Google, Twitter, Facebook, Toyota and many others to push further into the machine learning and artificial intelligence arenas.
    | Fri, Aug. 5, 5:05 PM | 23 Comments
  • Thu, May 26, 9:27 AM
    • Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) is up 3.7% premarket, and Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) up 0.9%, after the two were linked as takeover targets in a story about Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) content ambitions.
    • The Financial Times reports that Apple exec Eddy Cue raised the idea of buying Time Warner at a meeting with the company's head of corporate strategy at the end of last year.
    • Those ideas didn't get to Apple chief Tim Cook or Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes, sources told the FT, but the story does suggest Apple may not be content just talking about licensing others' content for a future TV service.
    • Meanwhile, several bankers suggest to the FT that Netflix is a more likely target for Apple, since an Apple service could then still support a wider range of content makers.
    • Several media companies would be bad targets for Apple because of dual-share structures that favor founders or family ownership (like Comcast, Fox, CBS, and Viacom). Notable exceptions to that concern are Time Warner and Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS).
    | Thu, May 26, 9:27 AM | 50 Comments
  • Tue, Mar. 22, 11:34 AM
    • Following an Ars Technica report about advanced deal talks, Apple (AAPL +0.9%) has said it doesn't plan to make an offer to buy GPU core developer Imagination Technologies (OTCPK:IGNMF), while adding it did hold some talks with the company.
    • On cue, Imagination has given back most of today's gains in London. Shares are now up 1.2%.
    • Update: Apple's official remarks: "From time to time, Apple talks with companies about potential acquisitions. We had some discussions with Imagination, but we do not plan to make an offer for the company at this time."
    | Tue, Mar. 22, 11:34 AM | 17 Comments
  • Tue, Mar. 22, 10:28 AM
    • Tech news site Ars Technica reports Apple (AAPL +1.1%) is in "advanced talks" to buy U.K.-based Imagination Technologies (OTCPK:IGNMF), whose PowerVR GPU cores are used within Apple's A-series processors. Imagination is up 19.6% in London; its market cap stands at $869M.
    • Acquiring Imagination would further add to Apple's chip R&D efforts. Right now, those efforts include designing the A-series chips and the custom ARM CPU cores that go into them, the M9 motion co-processor, and fingerprint sensor and LCD timing controller ICs.
    • Apple already owns an 8.4% stake in Imagination, and has often trumpeted the graphics capabilities of its hardware - yesterday, the company declared the A9X processor going into the iPad Pro has more GPU power than an Xbox 360. Apple could presumably buy Imagination with offshore cash.
    • An Apple/Imagination deal could spell an opportunity for ARM (ARMH -0.3%), whose Mali GPU cores compete with Imagination's PowerVR line, to take share at non-Apple Imagination customers such as Samsung. iPhone/iPad audio codec supplier Cirrus Logic (CRUS -1.1%) is down slightly - Imagination's product line includes voice pre-processing IP, but GPU cores drive the lion's share of the company's business.
    • Apple is trading higher a day after revealing the 4" iPhone SE and the 9.7" iPad Pro.
    • Update (11:34): Apple says it doesn't plan to make an offer to buy Imagination, while adding it did hold talks with the company.
    | Tue, Mar. 22, 10:28 AM | 23 Comments
  • Wed, Feb. 24, 3:56 PM
    • With Viacom (VIA +1%, VIAB +0.3%) looking to sell a strategic stake in Paramount Pictures, who could be interested in buying?
    • Foreign investors are likely, amid a wave of investment in Hollywood from overseas. China's Perfect World is putting $250M into a development slate at Universal, while in-country counterpart Bona Film Group said in November it was putting $235M into a slate at Fox.
    • Analysts suggest the studio is worth about $5.5B today, notes The Hollywood Reporter, so a minority stake could still come to $2B. Viacom paid $9.8B for the studio a dozen years back.
    • Major conglomerates like Alibaba (BABA +0.6%), Dalian Wanda and Fosun (OTCPK:FOSUF) have an appetite for Hollywood deals -- and Wanda already owns cinema chain AMC and producer Legendary Entertainment, while exploring a stake in Lions Gate. A key interest with those firms is ability to get Paramount products into China, where Transformers is a major phenomenon. Tencent (OTCPK:TCEHY +0.2%) has similar international media appetites.
    • Fosun is trying to buy Bona and take it private, which would give it Bona's entry into Fox's slate.
    • Back home, Lions Gate (LGF +8.8%) is now a frequent source of tie-up rumors -- and is on the move today amid Amazon.com (AMZN +0.1%) content-deal chatter. Both Lions Gate and Amazon could use a piece of Paramount for different reasons.
    • Meanwhile, Apple (AAPL +1.5%) has been floated as a possible bidder for Time Warner, as it may be shopping for content to feed TV dreams -- but a stake in Paramount would come far cheaper than trying to swallow Time Warner whole for $50B-$80B.
    • Previously: Viacom, up 5%, confirms Paramount investment feelers (Feb. 23 2016)
    | Wed, Feb. 24, 3:56 PM | 5 Comments
  • Thu, Jan. 7, 6:26 PM
    • Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has bought Emotient, a startup that relies on a form of A.I. known as deep learning to decipher human emotions via facial expressions. Emotient has mostly worked with advertisers to help them gauge consumer reactions to their ads, but many other use cases for its technology are also possible,
    • This is the third A.I.-related Apple acquisition to be reported in the last three months. The company has also bought Perceptio, a company working on A.I.-based image-recognition systems for smartphones that don't need to heavily access cloud data, and VocalIQ, creator of an A.I.-based platform for creating personal assistants that can understand natural-language queries and commands.
    • Google and Facebook have been making big A.I. investments themselves, aiming to use the technology for everything from detecting faces to tagging photos to analyzing websites and apps to make content recommendations. Like Google Now, Siri and Apple's Proactive assistant leverage A.I.
    • Meanwhile, iPhone chip suppliers Qorvo and Cirrus Logic have each issued calendar Q4 warnings after the bell, and suggested Q1 sales will also be soft. Without naming customers, both companies blame weak mobile product sales; Cirrus received 63% of its calendar Q3 sales from Apple.
    • The warnings come shortly after the Nikkei and the WSJ reported of iPhone-related order cuts. Apple fell 4.2% in regular trading amid a 3% Nasdaq drop, and is down 0.7% after hours to $95.81 following Qorvo/Cirrus' warnings.
    | Thu, Jan. 7, 6:26 PM | 78 Comments
  • Dec. 10, 2015, 10:23 AM
    • "We believe an acquisition of GoPro (NASDAQ:GPRO) would make sense for Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL); action cameras are uniquely positioned at the intersection of Apple’s smartphone, wearables, and multimedia offerings," writes FBR's Daniel Ives in a note about potential Apple buyout targets.
    • Ives: "Additionally, GoPro’s new product cycles could open the door to areas where Apple’s competitors are investing heavily (e.g., drones, VR), and Cupertino has been playing catch-up. We also see strategic value in GoPro being integrated with Apple’s strong multimedia ecosystem (e.g., iTunes, Apple TV, etc.)."
    • Media/ad software giant Adobe (ADBE - $44.4B market cap), enterprise cloud storage/file-sharing leader Box (BOX - $1.6B market cap), and EV/battery maker Tesla (TSLA - $30B market cap) are also named as potential Apple targets. "Box would give Apple an avenue into enterprise storage and enable it to expand its product tentacles (hardware/storage) into the enterprise cloud frontier ... Adobe would provide a nice pipeline into the enterprise ... Adobe’s Document Cloud/Marketing Cloud applications are helping enterprises grapple with the growth of digital marketing, proliferation of mobile devices in the enterprise, and IOT."
    • The GoPro remarks come with the action camera leader down 82% from its Oct. 2014 high of $98.47, and sporting a $2.4B market cap. In other news, GoPro announced today it has added Apple Watch support for its iOS app.
    • Recent GoPro coverage
    • Update (11:48AM ET): GoPro is now up 8.9%. Also announced today: GoPro states its drone (due in 1H16) will be known as Karma. A teaser video has been released.
    • Update 2 (2:30PM ET): GoPro is now up 14%. Given a short interest of 31.2M shares (47% of the float) as of Nov. 30, short-covering is likely playing an important role.
    | Dec. 10, 2015, 10:23 AM | 133 Comments
  • Nov. 25, 2015, 10:12 AM
    • Apple (AAPL -0.3%) has bought Faceshift, a Zurich-based developer of technology for turning facial expressions into avatars and other animated material in real-time, for an undisclosed sum. TechCrunch reports several Faceshift employees are now working for Apple,
    • Faceshift's technology, which can be used with off-the-shelf hardware, was used in Star Wars: The Force Awakens to make the facial expressions of non-human characters appear more human. It has also been applied towards gaming, where avatars can be altered based on a gamer's real-life expressions. (promo video)
    • The acquisition follows Apple's 2013 purchase of former Kinect motion sensor tech provider PrimeSense, and its 2015 purchase of multi-sensor camera module developer LinX, whose modules enable (among other things) depth sensing and 3D image capture. It also comes two months after Apple launched (via the iPhone 6S/6S+) Live Photos, a camera feature that animates a photo when a user taps on it.
    | Nov. 25, 2015, 10:12 AM | 22 Comments
  • Oct. 2, 2015, 6:41 PM
    • Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has bought VocalIQ, a U.K.-based developer of a "self-learning dialogue platform" that developers and OEMs can use to create personal assistants that understand natural-language questions and commands.
    • VocalIQ's technology, which could be used to help Siri better decipher conversational language, relies on A.I./machine learning to steadily improve its understanding of human dialogue. Notably, the auto market was a focus area for the company, with GM a partner.
    • Google (Now) and Microsoft (Cortana) have also been making investments in natural-language processing driven by machine learning. Facebook, meanwhile, recently showed off an assistant (known as M) that relies on both machine learning and actual humans to provide answers.
    • iOS 9 brought with it Apple's Proactive assistant, which uses both Siri and user data to push relevant content a la Google Now. This year has also seen the launch of the Siri-capable Apple Watch, and is set to see the rollout of an Apple TV set-top supporting Siri. Nuance (NASDAQ:NUAN) is believed to help power the platform.
    | Oct. 2, 2015, 6:41 PM | 20 Comments
  • Sep. 16, 2015, 6:48 PM
    • Re/code reports Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has acquired Mapsense, a startup that provides companies and developers with tools for visualizing and analyzing large volumes of location-tagged data with the help of maps. Sources state the deal cost $25M-$30M.
    • Apple has made a string of mapping/location services-related acquisitions in recent years, as it works to improve Apple Maps (getting public transit directions via iOS 9). Past purchases include GPS service firm Coherent Navigation, transit app developers HopStop and Embark, and commercial mapping services firm BroadMap.
    • Separately, S&P CapIQ's Angelo Zino has upgraded Apple to Strong Buy, arguing the launch of annual iPhone upgrade plans directly sold by the company - they were announced at last week's event, and cost $32.41-$44.91/month depending on the model - is "a notable positive."
    • Zino: "While AAPL’s leasing program is unlikely to drive much additional demand, we believe it is having a direct effect on carriers as the likes of T-Mobile have already begun to offer new more attractive programs than AAPL’s iPhone 6S/Plus program." He also thinks upgrade program adoption will serve to boost iPhone ASPs.
    • SA author Anthony Ruben argued yesterday Apple's upgrade plans could lower the iPhone's average upgrade cycle time from an estimated 26 months. "From AAPL's perspective, the emphasis has changed from keeping carrier partners happy to more tightly locking customers into the AAPL ecosystem. While there is much controversy surrounding the success of the Apple Watch, it's clear that one of the primary goals of the product is tightening the grip the company has on its customers."
    | Sep. 16, 2015, 6:48 PM | 47 Comments
  • May 18, 2015, 12:58 AM
    • Coherent Navigation provided high-precision GPS services (known as iGPS) that pair standard GPS signals with those from Iridium's (NASDAQ:IRDM) low-earth orbit satellite constellation to offer superior accuracy, signal integrity, and jamming protection. Whereas standard GPS is typically accurate to within several meters, Iridium and Boeing have claimed iGPS  can be accurate to within centimeters.
    • Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has bought Coherent for an undisclosed sum. The purchase  follows several 2013 acquisitions aimed at improving Apple Maps: Wi-Fi indoor positioning startup WiFiSlam, business/POI location database provider Locationary, commercial mapping services firm BroadMap, and public transit app developers HopStop, and Embark. More recently, Apple appears to have launched an effort to add street imagery similar to Google Maps' Street View.
    • Tim Cook disclosed in March Apple had bought 26 companies in the prior 15 months. As a list of Apple's known acquisitions shows, many of the purchases still haven't been made public.
    | May 18, 2015, 12:58 AM | 19 Comments
  • Apr. 14, 2015, 5:05 PM
    • Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has bought LinX Computational Imaging, an Israeli developer of multi-sensor mobile camera modules declared (by LinX) to deliver SLR-level image quality and superior low-light shots. The WSJ reports the purchase price is ~$20M.
    • Aside from high image quality, LinX trumpets the ability of its array sensor modules to take multiple shots at the same time at different apertures. This, together with algorithms, enables depth sensing and 3D image capture, as well as effects such as background focus blur.
    • The purchase comes as Samsung and other Android rivals step up their efforts to improve camera quality; the iPhone's camera has long been a selling point (both from a hardware and software standpoint). In 2013, Apple bought motion-sensing tech developer PrimeSense.
    • A list of Apple acquisitions
    | Apr. 14, 2015, 5:05 PM | 27 Comments