Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has made 15 acquisitions this year, but only 10 of them have been revealed. The other five, according to 9to5 Mac, include mapmaking company BroadMap and Catch, a company with a product which competes head to head with the popular note-taking app Evernote.
Apple and BroadMap
This year we’ve already heard that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) acquired other mapmaking companies as the company tried to recover from the mapping fiasco which occurred more than a year ago when it stopped using Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s maps. However, 9to5 Mac states that this acquisition—assuming the site’s source is correct—was less about indoor mapping and transit, as this year’s other mapping acquisitions have been about.
Instead, the site states that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) bought BroadMap because the company’s expertise lies in managing, sorting and providing analysis of mapping data. This acquisition could be an important one for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) because it would enable the company to improve the quality of its maps app. In other words, this acquisition was said to be about buying BroadMap’s talent rather than its technology.
Clues about Apple’s acquisition of BroadMap
BroadMap’s expertise has reportedly been used in MapQuest and Nokia’s Here maps. 9to5 Mac reports that in addition to their source, the CEO of BroadMap states that the company was acquired by a Fortune 5 company. However, of the top five companies in the Fortune 500, it wouldn’t make sense for any of them to have acquired the company. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) would make better sense, but it is number six on the list.
In addition, nearly every executive for BroadMap is now listed on their LinkedIn profiles as being on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s map team.
Apple and Catch
9to5 Mac’s sources also said Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) bought Catch this year. The note-taking app is seen by many as an Evernote competitor. Specifically, Catch was known for making it easy to sync notes over the cloud, its interface and more. The company actually closed down in August, saying it was facing some kind of “difficult decision” about taking it “in a different direction.”
A LinkedIn profile for a former Catch executive states that the company was acquired by another company without specifying the buyer. 9to5 Mac’s sources said Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is the new home of several former Catch employees, and it does seem like a pretty big coincidence that so many of them would have gone from Catch to Apple without an acquisition happening.
How Catch could help Apple
Catch’s note-taking and syncing capabilities could be used in a number of different ways at Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). For example, it could integrate with Siri to provide users with reminders for things they have in their notes. In addition, the technology could provide assistance for the iCloud team and help Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) with mobile user interfaces.
Catch was also known for creating Compass, a location-based Android app which added notes to locations. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) might have also been interested in this technology for its mapping apps, as the Compass app is apparently no longer available on Android devices.