Apple Wants More BlackBerry In It

It's difficult to underestimate the importance of finding good help these days.

And regardless of what BlackBerry's (NASDAQ: BBRY  ) faltering business would seem to imply, the folks at Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) know all too well the Canadian smartphone maker had no shortage of talent.

Apple stock, BlackBerry stock
Image sources: WikiMedia Commons. 

That was, at least, until BlackBerry shocked investors on September 20 by announcing its layoff of approximately 4,500 employees, or a full 40% of its workforce.

And that's when Apple stepped in.

According to a Financial Post report earlier this week, Apple wasted no time jumping on the opportunity by holding a recruitment drive just six days later at a conference center located within minutes of BlackBerry's main campus in Waterloo, Ontario.

What's more, according to a LinkedIn invitation sent to some BlackBerry employees prior to the event, though most of Apple's new positions are to be based in Cupertino, "relocation and immigration assistance will be provided for candidates that are hired, as needed."

So why's Apple vying for all this talent?

Call me crazy, but something tells me it's a tad difficult for a $450 billion technology company to continue growing and innovating at any meaningful clip without bringing more hands on deck. As Apple's products become ever more popular on a global scale, it's safe to expect supporting that growth will only become more difficult with each passing day.

Remember, back in May Apple's team of iOS 7 software engineers reportedly had to resort to temporarily "borrowing" from the company's pool of OS X 10.9 developers, all in a bid to ensure iOS 7 would be released on time. That meant delaying the planned launch of OS X Mavericks a bit, but considering they later stated the iOS 7 redesign resulted in the fastest software upgrade in history -- with around 200 million iOS device users upgrading in the four days following its debut -- it's safe to say Apple picked the right battle to fight.

But as a recovering software engineer myself, I know it's not uncommon to borrow from other internal teams for big releases. However, being understaffed is undoubtedly a less-than-ideal situation most companies would love to avoid, especially when they have the cash to hire new talent -- if only they can find it.

And while BlackBerry's newly jobless pool of tech workers may be one of the largest to become suddenly available in recent memory, keep in mind this isn't the first time Apple's gone out on a limb to poach qualified workers from other large corporations. Last December, for example, Apple grabbed dozens of new engineers to grow its chipmaking operations in Israel after Texas Instruments cut around 250 jobs from its Ra'anana development center.

Just a few months before that, Apple hired group of former Nuance Communications engineers in Boston, which lent credence to theories that Apple could be interested in ditching the voice-recognition specialist in favor of building its own speech engine instead.

So what can investors take from all this?

Despite worries from our fickle market decrying an Apple that seems to be sitting on its hands as the competition moves forward, rest assured the company is doing everything it can to build its talent pool -- and, in turn, its moat -- using the brightest minds that formerly belonged to those very competitors.

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  • Report this Comment On October 12, 2013, at 7:27 PM, derkman wrote:

    At least there's hope once again that Apple will be able to start innovating. Something good is finally coming to Apple.

  • Report this Comment On October 12, 2013, at 9:43 PM, k1moops wrote:

    Plenty of innovations and talents already exist but Apple only chooses ones that maximize Apple's humongous profits. Apple only employs innovations and talents that fall within its very narrow strict limits, Apple would not tolerate any deviations however promising and great the innovations and talents could be.

  • Report this Comment On October 12, 2013, at 9:56 PM, k1moops wrote:

    Chrome is a great browser thus Chrome is one of two endorsed iOS browsers. Siri will be merged with Safari and Chrome offering a voice Internet browser as well as server using Google's V8 engine as well as Apple's own Safari. Until natural speech and fingerprint driven ID mature, Apple would have difficulty selling en masse in Asia, but once the 5S fingerprint goes mainstream, and Siri maturing into a part of the Safari and Chrome browsers, all the current crop of smart clients like Samsung Galaxy, Sony, and Microsoft competitions would become yesterday's outdated useless machines. With Apple ditching Nuance, Siri would be embedded within the iOS and OSX clients providing human level natural interactions obsoleting today's systems, applications, and all kinds of services. This is much more than a post-PC era, Apple's efforts in humanizing its machines are completely altering the relationships between Man and Machine. Nothing in the current world would be untouched by this Apple Revolution.

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