Apple is a household name, with revolutionary products like the iPod, iPad, and AppleWatch, as well as a host os innovative technologies like its voice assistant, Siri. While many consumers know the products, not many know of the subsidiaries that directly support and create the company’s product offerings.
While all of these subsidiaries are central to the company's success, some operate with great independence from their parent company, while others are deeply intertwined with Apple's organizational structure. We have compiled five of Apple’s most impactful subsidiaries and the leaders behind them.
Shazam is an app that first appeared in 2002, which allows users to put a name to the song they are hearing. Using a phone’s microphone, Shazam listens to a song and matches it to its library of recording so a user can discover the catchy song they hear at a bar or on the radio. Apple stepped in and bought the app in 2018.
Since aquiring Shazam, the app's team and function has been intergrated into the Apple hierarchy. For example, Matt Plotnik, the head of marketing for Apple Music, and Apple Podcasts took on marketing efforts for Shazam following the aquisition. Apple has since used the song identifying app to improve the functionality of its voice assistant Siri. The app even has integrations with the Cupertino giant’s music streaming app that automatically adds songs discovered via Shazam to a playlist on Apple Music.
Founded in 1987, Claris is one of Apple’s oldest subsidiaries and was created to ensure its personal computers were stocked with applications originally like MacDraw, MacWrite, and MacPaint, and FileMaker. The company eventually changed its name to FileMaker in 1998 but reverted to original name in 2019.
Claris is led by CEO Brad Freitag and the company continues to develop, support, and market its enterprise-oriented relational database program for the macOS, Microsoft Windows, and iOS operating systems.
Braeburn Capital is a relatively unknown firm that was created to manage a large portion of the iconic device maker’s massive cash reserves. The asset manangment firm is incorporated in Nevada and named after a type of apple, but not much is known about the secretive money management firm. As of Q2 2020, Apple has over $192.8 billion in cash reserves. Jeffery Power serves as the Managing Director and Head of Braeburn Capital at Apple. Under his leadership the firm work to Apple with growing reserve of cash, which allows it to fund its high tech research operations and aquire additioanl companies.
Beats Electronics, better known as Beats by Dre, is an Apple subsidiary that produces audio products (primarily focused on headphones and speakers). The company was founded by music producer and rapper Dr. Dre and Interscope Records co-founder Jimmy Iovine in 2006.
In 2014, the audio brand launched a subscription-based streaming service, called Beats Music, and was aquired by Apple later. Beats was Apple's largest ever aquisition ($400 million) and its first ever consumer elctronics brand. Apple now sells Beats' products in its retail stores but discontinued Beats Music in 2015 with the launch of Apple Music.
Since the acquisition, Apple has fully intergeated Beats into its corporate structure. This is exemplified by Matthew Costello's roles as Apple's VP Hardware Engineering & the COO of Beats Electronics
Beddit is a Finnish technology company that was founded in 2006 and acquired by Apple in 2017. The Apple subsidiary makes sleep-tracking devices and a sleep-tracking app to help monitor sleep. Beddit's Finnish team seems to have shifted to Apple's headquarters following the company's acqusition as in a 2018 FCC document Beddit included "Designed by Beddit in California” on its device, mirroring the similar "Designed by Apple" branding.
Beddit has collected millions of nights of sleep data from its users, which will prove especially useful as Apple looks to match its competitors in the wearable market by adding sleep tracking features to its upcoming Apple Watch.
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