Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook, responding to analysts’ questions about the company’s acquisition strategy, said that they are on the “prowl” and have acquired 24 companies in the last 18 months. The CEO said that Apple is constantly searching for the companies that have great employees and great technology, along with a culture similar to that of Apple.

Apple AAPL

Apple seeks value in acquisition

According to Cook, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) does not go by the rule that it can shell out lot of money, but spends it when and where it sees a worthy deal. Also, while making a deal, the company considers that it should be able to add value to shareholders in the long term and that the deal should make sense. Cook said that the iPhone maker is focused on offering the world’s best product that enriches people’s life rather than spending money in acquiring the most products.

“So, to the tune that acquisitions can help us do that and they’ve done that and continue to do that, then we will acquire it. And so you can bet that you will continue to see acquisitions and some of which we’ll try to keep quiet and some of which seem to be impossible to keep quiet,” Cook said.

Cook accepts secrecy on deals

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s acquisition rate has increased over the past few years compared to 2011 and 2012 together, when only six companies were purchased. However, in fiscal 2013, this number accelerated to 15, including start-ups like BroadMap, PrimeSense, Passif Semiconductor, WiFiSlam, Nouvauris Technologies and a few mapping apps.

Cook was quick to acknowledge the fact that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) wants to keep its deals under wraps, although at times, it seems like an impossible task. He reiterated that the company will keep on acquiring companies in the future. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company follows its tradition of acquiring smaller companies by paying a maximum of $1 billion, but according to Cook, the pay might go up if the deal is right.

By February, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) had already purchased 23 companies, and the 24th one might be Japanese chip maker Renesas SP Drivers. The company manufactures LCD chips for Apple’s iPhone and may be acquired by Apple for $479 million, according to rumors earlier this month.