There have been quite a few strange acquisitions in the world of iOS development lately, but I think this one takes the cake: Walmart, of all places, has picked up an iOS development house named Small Society, in order to strengthen its customers' experience on Apple's mobile devices. Small Society has worked on apps for Starbucks, ZipCar, and Whole Foods and will bring its expertise to the biggest retailer in the world, working on iOS apps and interfaces for the WalmartLabs incubator division.
This isn't the first tech development group Walmart has picked up, though in my recollection it is the first iOS-specific purchase the company has made. But strange as it may seem, the purchase makes sense. As we've said a few times here, shopping in 2011 on mobile devices was higher than ever, and Walmart obviously wants a piece of that pie.
We'll have to see what comes out of this partnership in the future. If Small Society continues its good work, Walmart may have some interesting iOS apps coming down the pipeline.