10 Years Of Tech Acquisitions: How does Apple compare to other tech giants?

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The technology industry is the sector of the 21st century. Responsible for bringing the world into the digital age, technology has enabled a breadth of businesses and services to improve their products, processes and customer satisfaction. With new advancements taking place every single second of each day, the industry is also one of the most competitive, as companies have to constantly work to ensure they are up to date with the latest research and innovation.

The biggest tech giants lead the way for the rest of the industry when it comes to innovation and research. Successful for different services and products, from browsing the web, staying in contact with friends online, communicating using the most impressive gadgets and ordering practically anything we want with just a few clicks or swipes on our devices, the tech giants are known to most across the globe. Whilst the likes of Facebook, Apple, Google and Microsoft are the most successful tech companies in the world in the present day, they are aware they need to work to maintain their position and stay at the top of the leaderboard by acquiring businesses.

In order to remain at the forefront in their industry, tech giants are investing staggering sums of money to future proof their business in what can be an uncertain world of technology, where there remains an endless amount of research and improvement to discover. With nobody safe, the biggest tech players are acquiring a range of companies to boost their portfolio and increase their market share, all in order to stay at the top of the game,

Apple is one of the leading tech companies in the world with over 506 stores across 24 countries. Acting as one of, if not the biggest player in the computing and mobile world, Apple continues to stay one step ahead of the game when it comes to developing new and innovative technology.

With a quarterly revenue of $53.3 billion, an increase of 17 percent from the year-ago quarter, Apple make their money from their stunning and unique products but also through investing and acquiring new companies around the world.

From the data, Apple has shown as the 5th biggest tech giant in the world, acquiring 81 companies over the past 10 years. 2017, 2015 and 2013 were big years for Apple’s investment with 13 companies acquired in each of these years. However, in 2009 and 2011 only 2 companies acquired by Apple.

See the full breakdown year on year of Apple’s acquisitions analysed by RS Components:

So how do other companies compare to the likes of the tech giant Apple? RS Components have created a graphic to reveal the acquisitions of the biggest tech giants over the last decade to see who is making the most effort to remain at the top of the sector.

Overall Apple has acquired over double the number of companies acquired by eBay and over triple that of Adobe and HP Inc.

Last year Apple acquired 7 new companies which was over double that of IBM and Intel and 6 times more than Twitter.

From 2009 to 2018 Apple saw an increase of 250% in their acquisition, however, between 2017 and 2018 there was an 85% decrease with 13 companies being acquired by Apple in 2017 but only 7 in 2018.

Apple, Microsoft, IBM and Cisco Systems have all averaged between 8 and 9 companies acquired per year over the last decade, with Microsoft beating IBM to the top slightly. With the results so close between these tech giants, it is safe to say there is a lot of competition between the four, and anything could happen in the next year, let alone decade to the ranks on the leaderboard.

The companies that have acquired the most businesses in the last decade are:

  1. Google – 182 companies

  2. Microsoft – 89 companies

  3. IBM – 87 companies

  4. Cisco Systems – 81 companies

  5. Apple – 81 companies

Over the last decade, Google has emerged as the clear leader of the industry when it comes to acquisitions, with a whopping 182 businesses purchased. This figure is over double any other company including Microsoft, Apple and Facebook. Google’s acquisitions are three times greater than Jeff Bezos’ Amazon.

At the bottom of the leaderboard sits HP Inc, which in the last decade acquired just 19 companies. Google purchased more companies than this total in 2010 and 2014 alone. Twitter and eBay sit in the latter half of the leaderboard with 49 companies acquired in the last decade. With Amazon founded by the world’s richest man on Earth, is Bezos going to step up his game in the mission to acquisition?

Who will be leading the mission to acquisition in the next decade?

Picture of Kokou Adzo

Kokou Adzo

Kokou Adzo is a stalwart in the tech journalism community, has been chronicling the ever-evolving world of Apple products and innovations for over a decade. As a Senior Author at Apple Gazette, Kokou combines a deep passion for technology with an innate ability to translate complex tech jargon into relatable insights for everyday users.

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