Apple's latest acquisition of Israeli start-up reveals its arch strategy

Apple is known for its tradition of conducting secret acquisitions and has making such deals for a while. Many of its purchases are only revealed after they are completed or not revealed at all.

FILE PHOTO: The Apple Inc. logo is seen hanging at the entrance to the Apple store on 5th Avenue in Manhattan, New York, U.S., October 16, 2019 (photo credit: REUTERS/MIKE SEGAR/FILE PHOTO)
FILE PHOTO: The Apple Inc. logo is seen hanging at the entrance to the Apple store on 5th Avenue in Manhattan, New York, U.S., October 16, 2019
(photo credit: REUTERS/MIKE SEGAR/FILE PHOTO)
An Israeli start-up specializing in camera tech was reportedly acquired by tech giant Apple nearly two years ago, first reported by Calcalist last week. The quiet move represents Apple's strategy for keeping a strong grip over the industry by buying up small tech companies.
Camerai, formerly known as Tipit, was the developer of a cross-platform technology that enabled developers to integrate advanced real-time artificial reality (AR) graphics into their products in a simple and appealing way. Apple likely saw great potential in the small company's tech, or perhaps perceived it as a threat to its own products, and decided to take it off the table altogether.
According to Calcalist, Apple is known for its tradition of conducting secret acquisitions, and has been making such deals for a while, with many purchases only revealed after they are completed or not revealed at all.
While Apple has stressed in the past that acquiring external companies is always a second priority and that the company prefers investing projects developed internally, Apple CEO Tim Cook admitted during a Berkshire Hathaway Conference in 2019 that the company had acquired 25 companies that year and did not disclose most of them.
It's easy to understand why Apple would be interested in a company that specialized in AR, a technology that has been gaining tremendous popularity and is expected to continue growing with applications in engineering, design, business, the arts and entertainment.
According to TechCrunch, other companies approached the Israeli startup, including Samsung and Alibaba, but Apple apparently made the best offer. Camerai was sold to Apple for tens of millions of dollars and its technology has been integrated into Apple's computer vision team and eventually into its cameras, making life easier for developers who wanted to include AR capabilities in their apps.
Camerai was founded in 2014 under the name Tipit by Aaron Wetzler, Erez Tal, Jonathan Rimon, and Moty Kosharovsky. It employed 13 workers in Tel Aviv at the time of its sale to Apple, most of whom were integrated into Apples’ offices in Herzliya.
Apple currently operates a major development center in Israel based on a series of local acquisitions and an intensive recruiting spree in recent years. The center, managed by Rony Friedman, is estimated to employ more than 1,500 employees divided between their offices in Herzliya and Haifa.
Other Israeli acquisitions by Apple include LinX Computational Imaging in 2015 and RealFac in 2017.