PwC Acquires Surfaceink: Expanding Into The Hardware Space


PwC, the renowned professional services firm, is making a significant move in the hardware sector with the acquisition of Surfaceink, a company that started as Apple’s primary hardware engineering partner. While financial details of the deal remain undisclosed, it is clear that this acquisition highlights the shifting dynamics in the hardware industry and the growing interest of companies like PwC in this space.

Key Takeaway

PwC’s acquisition of Surfaceink highlights the growing interest of consulting firms in the hardware industry. Surfaceink brings valuable expertise and an impressive clientele, while PwC gains the opportunity to better understand and engage with its clients through hardware products. This acquisition represents a shift in the economics of the hardware sector and opens new possibilities for both companies.

Surfaceink’s Expertise and Impressive Clientele

Surfaceink, based in the Silicon Valley, specializes in prototyping and designing hardware for both consumers and enterprises. In addition, the company operates labs for testing acoustics, electronics, and more. With a workforce of around 50 employees, all of whom will be retained, Surfaceink boasts an impressive list of past and present clientele, including tech industry giants such as Amazon, Apple, Dell, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and PayPal.

PwC Expands Its Presence in Hardware

PwC is known primarily for its accounting and management consultancy services, but the company has a number of major technology companies as clients. By acquiring Surfaceink, PwC gains valuable in-house expertise and can better understand the hardware components of its clients’ businesses. Moreover, this acquisition presents an opportunity for PwC to explore new avenues of growth and engagement with its clients through hardware products.

A Long-Time Partnership and a Strategic Refresh

Surfaceink was founded in 1999 specifically to partner with Apple, particularly during Steve Jobs’ tenure as CEO. The company played a crucial role in designing and engineering various Apple products, including the iMac, iPod, and iPhone. However, the relationship soured in 2010 when Surfaceink revealed its own tablet designs, leading Apple to sever ties with the company. Despite this setback, Surfaceink continued to thrive and attract clients outside of Apple’s ecosystem.

According to Eric Bauswell, the CEO of Surfaceink, the company’s partnership with PwC aligns with a strategic refresh within the consulting firm. The acquisition allows Surfaceink to broaden its services and tap into a larger pool of potential clients while operating under the umbrella of a well-established consulting firm.

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