Today the news about Apple is its latest acquisition of a company by the name of Wifi Slam.
As it turns out, this company produces an app that provides GPS location functions but in a small or internal space such as a store or mall using wi-fi signals. I will continue to monitor and follow this piece of news which I consider it to be quite significant.
1. Apple is not an acquisition driven company. It has grown primarily through the strength of its innovative products and excellent customer satisfaction. So when Apple does buy a company, it does so for very strategic reasons based on a present need to improve or add to a future product release heretofore unannounced. In this case, Apple has bought a technology that appears to the casual observer to be driven from its need to address the myriad of issues that its own Maps app has engendered. Much of the coverage today is focusing on that part of the decision.
2. Apple is about integral growth. This means that Apple seeks always to provide the customer with a solution that is application driven but on a hardware platform that it controls exclusively. This is part of the Jobs legacy. He was a passionate innovator who held that a great company builds hardware compatible with software and not the other way around.Today all Apple hardware products (desktops and notebooks) and mobility hardware (music players, smartphones and tablets) are designed and architected around a software platform that is driven by the need to serve the customer with an easy to use interface and a friendly environment.
3.Apple is about ecosystem completion Apple for a long time has built products that complement each other and enhance the customer’s need for tools that work well together. We can see now that each product group has an anchor or core product around which new products both hardware and software will need to be deployed. The Macs form the centerpiece of its computer line for home and corporate use. The success of the iPhone gives it a core device around which it has built the largest ecosystem of apps. The iPad has done the same for a category that Apple is defining and leading. This will have a significant impact on its roadmaps which now appears to be emerging in two spaces: Mobility and the living room.
4.Apple does extensive testing of its products. As a rule, Apple does not put out beta releases or products that have not completed a rigorous test cycle. Since it controls every aspect of the product development process, it can engage in testing protocols that would be difficult if it had various vendors or outside entities building its products and responsible for a key stage in its product designs.
As I’ve read several pieces of news about this acquisition. The picture that is forming is one of a company positioning its considerable market and technology prowess in building a next generation platform that will provide location, social media awareness and communications for consumers in a mall or shopping environment. This would allow Apple to build location aware components into its iOS software that drives its iPhones and iPads to provide app developers the ability to create solutions for its customers. In this case, it would empower consumers to buy products and services in a physical environment such as a large department store or a major warehouse retailer such as Costco or a Walmart.
We can see the enormous potential as more and more companies release apps to support consumers in finding the products they need on a shopping list when they enter a store. Some companies are offering discounts and coupons through the iOS apps which is becoming de riguer for the retail industry. Add location of the specific items plus the ability of the advertiser or store itself to offer sales or realtime information and Viola you have the emergence of the 21 Century shopping experience!
Stay tuned (It can only get better)