Sunday, September 25, 2022
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Apple would consider acquisitions that expand its burgeoning Services division

In a call with analysts and the media regarding Apple’s third fiscal quarter finances, CEO Tim Cook, in responding to a question, said that the company always looked carefully at acquiring other companies, but basically said that anything was possible.

The question was, “Could there be an appetite to accelerate growth of Services by looking at external products to acquire?”

“We always look and we ask ourselves how strategic it is, and we never buy a company just to be buying nor do we buy for revenue,” Cook said. “We would buy something that is strategic. To date we have concentrated on smaller companies and people acquisitions. However, I wouldn’t rule anything out for the future and obviously we are constantly looking at the market.”

At its core, Apple’s services business is about selling digital content and subscriptions to Apple’s customers. It does so through digital platforms, including the Apple Store, Apple Music, and iCloud. Others are Apple TV+, Apple Care, and Apple Arcade. Last year a Loup Ventures Loup report predicted that Apple will add more ServicesYou can read the in-depth article here, but here are some of the new and/or expanded Apple services the venture capital firm foresees:

° Health+, a healthcare opportunity that would leverage sensors “to capture more health data, more frequently, than perhaps any other consumer health platform.”

° Stocks+. If Apple is comfortable launching a credit card, they could eventually add other financial services, such as investment accounts. The Stocks app is already a go-to app for many investors, and there’s more the company could do. First, Apple could replicate its success with Apple Card and offer low-fee, private, secure, simple brokerage accounts. 

° Maps+. Loup Ventures thinks an Apple Car is on the product roadmap and that it and “Apple Maps could work together in a new service, Maps+, to help deliver the future of transportation.”

° Mail+, which would handle “inbox management, scheduling, and many of the daily tasks we perform in the Mail app could be automated, adding sufficient value to our lives while commanding a monthly fee.”

° Podcasts+, in which Apple will take a page from Spotify’s playbook and bundle premium podcasts (Podcasts+) with Apple Music and Apple One, at no extra charge for paying subscribers. 

However, a Bloomberg report says that Apple is planning to bring more of its financial services in-house such as lending risk assessment, fraud analysis, credit checks, and dispute handling.

The project — dubbed “Breakout” — may also include tools for calculating interest, rewards, approving transactions, reporting data to credit bureaus, increasing credit limits, etc.

Currrently, Apple works with Goldman Sachs Bank and CoreCard for the Apple Card, Green Dot for Apple Cash, and Citizens Bank for the iPhone Upgrade Program.

Here’s some info from the Bloomberg report: A multiyear plan would bring a wide range of financial tasks in-house, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public. That includes payment processing, risk assessment for lending, fraud analysis, credit checks and additional customer-service functions such as the handling of disputes.

The effort is focused on future products, rather than Apple’s current lineup of services …. The service is currently planned to work as follows: When a user makes a purchase via Apple Pay on their Apple device, they will have the option to pay for it either across four interest-free payments made every two weeks, or across several months with interest, one of the people said. The plan with four payments is called “Apple Pay in 4” internally, while the longer-term payment plans are dubbed “Apple Pay Monthly Installments.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.