Is Apple’s Latest Acquisition for the iWatch?

iWatch concept -- Source: iWatch concept, Anders Kjellberg / dogday-design.se

Source: iWatch concept, Anders Kjellberg / dogday-design.se

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has acquired LuxVue Technology, a company that specializes in low-energy micro-LED displays, reports TechCrunch. Apple confirmed the purchase with its standard acquisition boilerplate statement that reads, “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.” Although the statement does not explicitly address the purchase of LuxVue Technology, Apple has previously released identical statements following the rumored acquisitions of companies that were later confirmed.

While there is not a lot of information on LuxVue Technology, last December VentureBeat reported that the company had recently filed several patents related to its micro-LED display technology. Energy-efficient, micro-LED technology may one day become the standard display technology used in wearable tech devices, and it is even rumored to be the display tech used in the next Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Glass model. Energy efficient components are becoming increasingly important in the consumer electronics industry as mobile devices and wearable tech products continue to get smaller while acquiring more energy-consuming functions and features.

Apple typically purchases companies in order to acquire specific technologies to augment or create a new product. Last year, John Doerr — a partner at renowned venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers — said LuxVue had developed a technical breakthrough in displays, reports TechCrunch. This has led some industry watchers to speculate that LuxVue Technology’s micro-LED technology could be intended for Apple’s long-rumored iWatch or other similar wearable tech product. However, it is also possible that the energy-efficient display technology is simply intended to improve Apple’s current lineup of mobile products.

Although Apple has not even confirmed the existence of the iWatch, there have been multiple rumors and information leaks that suggest that the Cupertino-based company has plans to unveil a wearable tech device with non-invasive health-monitoring functions sometime this year.

Last month, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo released an Apple product roadmap obtained by 9to5Mac that predicted that the iWatch would be released sometime during the third quarter of this year. More recently, the China Times reported that a small-scale production run of the iWatch has already been initiated.

As noted by TechCrunch, LuxVue Technology is likely one of the company acquisitions that Apple CEO Tim Cook referenced in the company’s recent quarterly earnings call. “We are also investing through acquisitions and we’ve acquired twenty-four companies in the past eighteen months,” stated Cook, according to an earnings call transcript provided by Seeking Alpha. Although Apple has not recently bought a large company, it tripled the number of acquisitions it made last year compared to the previous year.

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