Apple Reportedly Acquires Photo and Video Sharing App Color [Update]

According to a report via The Next Web, Apple has reportedly acquired the photo and video sharing app Color. The latter first launched last March and was underwhelming after much media hype and garnering $41 million in funding:

Color Labs, the photo-and-video-sharing social network that received much criticism over its pre-launch $41 million funding round, is about to be acquired by Apple. We’ve heard through trusted sources that the startup was nabbed for a price that is in the ‘high double digits’, as in millions, and that the deal is ‘done’, though papers have yet to be signed.

From what we know, founder Bill Nguyen has been away from the office for three months, after a period of intense strain between him and the board.

As for the reason of the acquisition? It could come down to the patent value in Color (along with their domain notes Daniel Jalkut as he notes the company has recently published several patents in the past month and a half:

Interestingly enough, Color has apparently only recently published several patent applications related to sharing of information among “device groups.” The applications listed are all published within the past month and a half, and all feature iPhone-like art in the supporting illustrations.

Earlier today Venture Beat noted Color was reportedly on the brink of shutting down. Now they have magically been acquired by Apple?? That would be the best day ever.

If this rumour proves to be true, it would be Nguyen’s second company Apple has snatched up, as the latter nabbed up his music service Lala in late 2009. Color as an app was horrible and I can’t see why Apple would want to purchase the company, other than to acquire those patents noted above.

Update: AllThingsD reports Apple is not buying Color itself, but its people in another ‘acqui-hire’ scenario:

What’s really happening is that Color’s engineering team — about 20 people, comprising almost the entire company — is being “acqhired” by Apple at what’s being called a “nominal” price of something like $2 million to $5 million, according to multiple sources familiar with both sides of the situation. To repeat, there are no “double-digit” millions involved, according to many people familiar with the deal.

Apple is not buying Color’s technology, intellectual property, domain names or liabilities. Those are being left with the company, which still has considerable cash in the bank — something like $25 million — and is going to be wound down.

P.S. - Like our news? Support the site with a coffee/beer. Or shop with our Amazon link. We use affiliate links when possible--thank you for supporting independent media.