Apple Adds Two Key Acquisitions to Growing Empire

by Matt Klassen on April 30, 2010

With the surprise accusation of Palm by PC giant Hewlett-Packard still filling the pages of tech blogs across the continent, it’s amazing that there’s even something else to write about today. But amidst HP’s shrewd business maneuvering that has seen it become one of the most comprehensive mobile players in the game, Apple too has made some key business decisions, as Steve Jobs continues to work on expanding the reach of the great Apple empire.

In two separate moves, Apple announced this past week that it has acquired chip-maker Intrinsity — the Texas-based chip maker responsible for the A4 chip used in the iPad, and Siri—a company that produces a voice-activated search app of the same name for the iPhone. But what does Apple stand to gain from these acquisitions? Two words. Competitive edge.

While the financial details of the purchase of Intrinsity have yet to be released, speculation has it that Apple most likely picked up the company for a steal, in a move that will surely have many of Apple’s competitor’s shaking their head in dismay. For you see, Intrinsity was the brains behind the development of the ultra-fast processor for the iPad that, amazingly, doesn’t comprising battery life, a technological feat that many other prospective tablet makers would clearly love to get their hands on.

With this purchase not only has Apple secured the security and secrecy of its iPad technology, it has also guaranteed that should any of these potential tablet makers, many of whom were looking to Intrinsity to create similar processors for them, want to utilize this tech, they will now be completely beholden to Apple.

In its other noteworthy deal, Apple acquired Siri, a company that produces what is essentially a voice or text activated search application for the iPhone, in yet another move to bolster its mobile portfolio, this time expressly in response to what customers can find on Google’s Android devices.

Simply put, Apple is working to become a major player in the mobile search market, and with their recent creation of iAd and the acquisition of Siri, Steve Jobs has given his company all the right pieces to wage war against Google in the search engine giant’s own territory.

While you may have yet to fiddle with Siri on your iPhone—it was only released in February—this ingenious app applies natural language understanding to both speech and text, and responds to those requests accordingly. This means that if you need a taxi, just say, “I need a taxi,” and it will locate local companies for you.

Though it remains to be seen whether Siri will become an intrinsic part of Apple’s OS, add this voice activated search feature to any iPhone and suddenly your mobile goes from an innovative and enjoyable phone to a device that helps you simply, effectively, and not to mention intuitively, run your entire life.

In the end both these acquisitions clearly are, like HP’s purchase of Palm, yet two more small pieces in Apple’s larger vision of technological dominance, and while there are some immediate benefits to purchasing these companies, it may yet take some time to see their full value.

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