Burstly joins the Apple family tree


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Have you ever had a moment after reading something where you had to shake your head because you just couldn’t believe what you had read? This is the feeling we had when reading about Apple’s most recent acquisitions:

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Burstly joins the Apple family tree

  1. 1. BURSTLY JOINS THE APPLE FAMILY TREE March 12, 2014 -Art Dogtiev, Head of Branded Content
  2. 2. Mobile Marketing Agency Have you ever had a moment after reading something where you had to shake your head because you just couldn’t believe what you had read? This is the feeling we had when reading about Apple’s most recent acquisitions: The news of the Burstly.com pickup hit the wire a few weeks ago. Burstly is the company that brought iOS devs the TestFlight platform, used to share app builds pre-release for beta testing. There is no more popular third party solution provider amongst iOS developers. TestFlight is used pretty ubiquitously throughout the developer community. Unlike some sites reporting on the rumor that Apple will shut down TestFlight (IOHO, these posts serve as click-bait), we think that the Apple acquisition of this massively popular tool has other implications. During a recent interview, Apple CEO Tim Cook shared something unexpected – the exact number of companies which Apple has acquired over the last 16 months. Tech pundits and media have been so focused on the acquisitions of WhatsApp by Facebook, Zite by Flipboard and Motorola Mobility by Lenovo that they have totally missed the fact that Apple has snapped up TWENTY THREE companies in a little under a year and a half. Only a handful of Apple’s acquisitions were publicly acknowledged and if Tim Cook had not mentioned the rest in this interview, the tech community would have remained (generally) in the dark about those pickups.
  3. 3. Mobile Marketing Agency Apple is known for having an acquisition policy that is quite different from other companies like Google and Microsoft. They are always on the search for innovative ideas, talent and new technologies to enhance their existing hardware and software. Take, for instance, this recent rumor that Apple is going to buy Tesla Motors: As much as we would love to see these companies to join their forces, we realize that it’s not going to happen. Apple wouldn’t make the strategic decision to buy a company for $25 billion dollars which forces a jump into a completely new product category. But, they might join forces with Tesla in a partnership designed to manufacture a more efficient battery – that we can see, as it would be hugely beneficial to Apple to have intellectual property rights on that type of technology. (And, would effectively screw over the rest of the mobile market in the process.)   We digress.   Apple has essentially purchased two major assets with the acquisition of Burstly: TestFlight and SkyRocket. Here is how those acquisitions will benefit Apple:  
  4. 4. Mobile Marketing Agency TestFlight   ! This is the solution we at ComboApp have encountered over and over again while working with different apps in beta that we need to develop marketing and communications strategy for. Among the many ways you can actually get ahold of an iOS app before it becomes available on the App Store, TestFlight has always been the best and most stable option. TestFlight feels like it is the solution which Apple itself should have developed and provided. And, with this acquisition, it is likely we soon will see TestFlight integrated into the xCode app development suite.   Even though the TestFlight solution is extremely popular doesn’t mean that 100% of iOS developers are taking advantage of it – as it is a matter of scale – how many users the system could handle. With Apple’s technical backup TestFlight can take flight into a larger world of iOS developers… pun intended.   There is always going to be a technical gap between what a small startup company and what a company like Apple is able to support and offer. The acquisition of TestFlight is clearly a win-win situation: Apple will be able to offer one more extremely useful tool, making its platform even more attractive for iOS app developers; the Burstly team will benefit by being able to simplify their solution offerings and having bragging rights about being an Apple partner. ! One thing about the Burstly acquisition is crystal clear to us: The days of TestFlight for Android are over. This is a no brainer,  
  5. 5. Mobile Marketing Agency Apple has already (as Liz Lemon or Jack Donaghy would say) shut it down. SkyRocket   
 Clearly SkyRocket is destined to build upon Apple’s iAd mobile ad platform. iAd – introduced by Apple in 2010 was previously a mobile advertising platform called Quattro Wireless which had been in operation since the app store’s inception in 2008. iAd clearly has its strong points and weak points, for some time it has been speculated that Apple would make a strategic move to strengthen the offering by rolling another similar product suite with stronger tools into their own.   SkyRocket is that app. It’ll be interesting to see if Apple will shut down SkyRocket in its current form and move it entirely under the iAd umbrella.   But there is another implication we believe should be noted: By acquiring a mobile app advertising company, Apple will be able actually see first hand how the mobile advertising market has evolved in the past six years since its’ inception. Today iOS apps market is so much more than just the app store. There are literally dozens of mobile ad networks app developers work with to generate traffic for their products. Each of those companies helps the app developer with his bottom line slightly differently, but in general they have been doing a big chunk of Apple’s work for them in helping app developers make a profit.   As to the Apple’s next possible acquisitions? Our gut feeling is that an A/B testing (for iOS apps) company such as http:// apptimize.com will be the next bloom to sprout from Apple’s family tree. !  ~Art Dogtiev, Head of Branded Content