Apple has acquired Fleetsmith, a San Francisco-based startup company whose technology helps businesses manage Apple's Mac and iPad devices among their employee bases.
The move is a push by Apple into the mobile device management industry, a category of business software dominated by players such as Microsoft and VMware.
Fleetsmith announced the deal in a blog post.
"We started Fleetsmith to balance the management and security needs of IT with the experience users love about Mac, iPad, and iPhone," the startup said in the post. "We’re proud of the incredibly talented team we’ve built, and that we’ve stayed true to our mission: to make powerful, secure Apple fleet management available to everyone.
"We’re thrilled to join Apple. Our shared values of putting the customer at the center of everything we do without sacrificing privacy and security, means we can truly meet our mission, delivering Fleetsmith to businesses and institutions of all sizes, around the world."
Apple confirmed the acquisition, but the companies did not disclose a price.
The move comes as Apple switches to its own chips for its Mac computers, with the first machines to ship this year, ending a nearly 15-year reliance on Intel Corp to supply processors for its flagship laptops and desktop.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said that it marked the beginning of a major new era for a product line that powered the company's rise in the 1980s and its resurgence in the late 1990s.
“Silicon is at the heart of our hardware," Cook said during a virtual keynote address recorded at the company's Cupertino, California headquarters for its annual developer conference. "Having a world class silicon design team is a game changer.”
Also revealed during the event was the release of a beta of its Xcode 12 integrated development environment, with a new look to match the release of the next version of MacOS, Big Sur.
(Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Additional editing by Nick Zieminski; with Paul Krill and ARN Staff)