Acquisition: A word we have heard almost every day of this year. Yahoo acquires Tumblr, IQ Engines, Xobni, Rockmelt, FaceBook buys London based Monoidics and now Microsoft’s $7.3bn takeover of Nokia’s handset division. We can be certain that none of these buyers lack in revenue and can buy more to experiment with technological integrations.
This is a sign that technology is saturated and need extreme steps to create something different. I am not using the word ‘new’ simply because most of the upcoming ideas aren’t new; they are integrations and upgradations.
Most of us own a smartphone, a tablet, a laptop, a kindle, a smart watch (Garmin for example) and have millions of apps to integrate them to our taste. It is next to impossible to accommodate yet another gadget without displacing one we already own. With the mission of simplifying life, we have complicated it with multiple devices and are severely saturated to have room left to adopt more.
With Samsung’s announcement of Galaxy Gear and Apple’s rumoured iWatch, Google stepped up and bought smart watch maker Wimm labs. By 2014, we can choose a smart-watch by one of the three giants with similar features and competing prices.
When Nokia went the Windows way instead of the beaten path of the Android OS, we should have predicted the Microsoft acquisition in, the not so far away, future. According to IDC, smartphone demands have risen by 51% since 2012 to a whopping 236.4 million shipment in Q2 of 2013.
With Android in the lead and the dying blackberry lagging behind, the Windows segment is catching up with Apple with a surpassable 9.7% difference in market share. Microsoft’s decision of acquiring Nokia is a classic example of technological integration in this saturated market. With Nokia’s rising number, Microsoft may bring out smarter phones to beat Apple’s slowing product launches.
“UK Mergers and Acquisitions Volume Plunge By 31% in 2013”. Due to the slowing economy in the United Kingdom, acquisitions aren’t the best business strategy at the moment. An intelligent example would be Vodafone selling its Verizon stakes for £84 billion in the US. This is a step away from innovation but a leap for the suffering economy.
Similarly, the acquisition of British Invensys by French Schneider Electric is a contribution in stabilising the economy. This European – British acquisition deal has been closed for £3.3bn. Schneider aimed at merging its power equipment with Invensys’ software and control systems for the same. This would enhancement its industry automation business and hence help gain more energy sector customers.
Where Are We Heading?
Since there is very little room for innovation, the best alternative would be to merger previously invented technology. We have smart watches that display features of a phone and social networking sites adopting features of each other. Acquisitions are a growing trend in an attempt to innovate in the face of saturation. Be it the buying out of smaller organisations or the integration of the array of products within a company; the term saturation and integration are finding a steady relationship to sustain the growing user demands.
How This Is Benefiting The World
Large organisations work to generate revenue and to stay ahead in their respective markets. But there is a larger story that blankets this goal: the future of technology for the world. I believe that technology isn’t restricted to beat market competition and generate revenue. Every time a new product reaches the public, it generates a change in customer behavior and lowers their threshold of acceptance.
Are Acquisitions A Dream Of Startups Or SMEs?
Various startups have been acquired in the past couple of years. This now seems inevitable 50% of the time after their product(s) has been noticed by the larger corporations. The simple strategy behind this is to create an integrated platform for the customer with features created by others outside the organisation. It’s a form of customised out-sourcing before the demand is raised by the organisation.
For those who wish to continue being the sole proprietor of their startup, this would not be the dream scenario. But for those who believe this is a good strategy to invest time and money into, this can be the ideal path in their progress and growth. However, I am not advocating that only the larger, established organisation should produce products with immense amount of features; as a user, I would like to see multiple options to formulating and reproducing data in my life. Integration is the bandwagon for the next few decades until the next level of saturation comes our way.