Apple Beats Google and Meta On AI Shopping Spree Apple has so far remained fairly quiet about how it plans to utilise the AI technology and expertise gained through its acquisition strategy.
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Apple has long been quietly acquiring artificial intelligence startups to bolster its AI capabilities across its products and services. This strategy continued strongly in 2023, with Apple purchasing up to 32 AI companies last year according to estimates.
This figure puts Apple well ahead of other major tech giants in terms of AI startup acquisitions. Google acquired 21 AI startups in 2023, Facebook Meta purchased 18, while Microsoft trailed with 17 acquisitions according to the report. Apple has so far remained fairly quiet about how it plans to utilise the AI technology and expertise gained through its acquisition strategy. However, the approach reflects a multi-pronged push to advance Apple's AI capabilities through talent acquisition, technology integration and intellectual property expansion.
Some of Apple's notable AI startup purchases over the past few years include Voysis, WaveOne, Emotient, Laserlike and more. Voysis, acquired in 2020, specialises in voice assistants that can understand natural language. This technology likely helped advance Apple's own Siri virtual assistant. WaveOne, purchased in March 2023, developed video compression tech that could find its way into Apple products like iPhones and Apple Watches. Other acquisitions focused on expression recognition, app recommendations and music AI.
An interesting aspect of Apple's strategy is its focus on early-stage startups. This suggests the company is aiming to identify and invest in emerging AI trends before competitors, the report points out. It remains to be seen exactly how Apple will implement these startup technologies into its consumer products. Competitors like Samsung and Google have rapidly developed their own AI capabilities in recent years, with highly advanced AI features in smartphones like the Galaxy S24 Ultra. However, Apple's huge lead in AI startup acquisitions over the past 6 years points to ambitious plans for its future devices and services.