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Apple close to acquiring Chinese game maker for $148M - report

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
Apple is rumored to be in talks to buy a Chinese mobile Internet service provider and game developer for $148 million, with a final agreement said to be "close."

Chinese business news organization SinoCast reported Thursday that Apple is in talks with Handseeing Information Technology Co, a company that specializes in rich Internet applications. The Chinese company's primary business model is said to be online gaming on mobile devices.

The report incorrectly stated that the believed price was $150 billion, likely a typo. The Global Times pinned the price at a more realistic 1 billion yuan, or $147.62 million U.S.

It also said that other potential buyers had recently come forward, adding "uncertainty" to the deal.

If the rumor is accurate, it could be yet another sign that Apple is interested in creating its own games for devices like the iPhone and iPad in-house. Last November, AppleInsider revealed that the Cupertino, Calif., company was looking to hire a AAA-caliber game developer for its team.

To date, Apple has only released one game on the iPhone App Store -- Texas Hold'em. The $4.99 virtual card game was made available in 2008.

Games have proven to be some of the most popular third-party applications available for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. To capitalize on that, Apple will release a new application dubbed Game Center that will act as a centralized place for users to see what their friends are playing challenge them to an online match, or compare scores in specific titles. The service, similar to Microsoft's Xbox Live, will also offer gamers the ability to unlock achievements when playing compatible titles.

Apple's focus on games was also in the spotlight in April, when the company hired a new games editor for the App Store. That hire is now part of a team at Apple that handpicks and organizes titles for customers.
post #2 of 33
Kinda funny considering Steve hated originally the idea of the iPhone being a gaming platform since it made it seem less like a business device
post #3 of 33
Microsoft have done a few very good games, I don't see why Apple couldn't too. But maybe trying to do everything is not a good idea in general?
post #4 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Microsoft have done a few very good games, I don't see why Apple couldn't too. But maybe trying to do everything is not a good idea in general?

iBox, app store and game center?
post #5 of 33
this is going to be HUGE.
post #6 of 33
I think you mean Million like in the title.

My bad, helps if you read the whole article.
post #7 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple is rumored to be in talks to buy a Chinese mobile Internet service provider and game developer for $148 billion, with a final agreement said to be "close."

Chinese business news organization SinoCast reported Thursday that Apple is in talks with Handseeing Information Technology Co, a company that specializes in rich Internet applications. The Chinese company's primary business model is said to be online gaming on mobile devices.

The report incorrectly stated that the believed price was $150 billion, likely a typo. The Global Times pinned the price at a more realistic 1 billion yuan, or $147.62 million U.S.

It also said that other potential buyers had recently come forward, adding "uncertainty" to the deal.

If the rumor is accurate, it could be yet another sign that Apple is interested in creating its own games for devices like the iPhone and iPad in-house. Last November, AppleInsider revealed that the Cupertino, Calif., company was looking to hire a AAA-caliber game developer for its team.

To date, Apple has only released one game on the iPhone App Store -- Texas Hold'em. The $4.99 virtual card game was made available in 2008.

Games have proven to be some of the most popular third-party applications available for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. To capitalize on that, Apple will release a new application dubbed Game Center that will act as a centralized place for users to see what their friends are playing challenge them to an online match, or compare scores in specific titles. The service, similar to Microsoft's Xbox Live, will also offer gamers the ability to unlock achievements when playing compatible titles.

Apple's focus on games was also in the spotlight in April, when the company hired a new games editor for the App Store. That hire is now part of a team at Apple that handpicks and organizes titles for customers.

Million or Billion - get the story right!!!!!
post #8 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by rtm135 View Post

Kinda funny considering Steve hated originally the idea of the iPhone being a gaming platform since it made it seem less like a business device

Not necessarily true. I remember the articles.
The true measure of a man is how he treats someone that can do him absolutely no good.
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The true measure of a man is how he treats someone that can do him absolutely no good.
  Samuel Johnson
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post #9 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple is rumored to be in talks to buy a Chinese mobile Internet service provider and game developer for $148 billion, with a final agreement said to be "close."

You think Steve will have to dip into his personal savings to buy them out?
post #10 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Microsoft have done a few very good games, I don't see why Apple couldn't too. But maybe trying to do everything is not a good idea in general?

I'm still wicked pissed that steve let Microsoft buy Bungie... Oh well at that time Steve had lots of other things to worry about I guess... Like keeping apple alive... But still, it still sucked AND one has to wonder what woulda happened if MS didn't have Halo... \
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post #11 of 33
Ginormous data center + Dropbox = Apple SOLVES its cloud woes.
Come on, Apple, buy Dropbox. not some stupid game company.
post #12 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by guidobaldoni View Post

Ginormous data center + Dropbox = Apple SOLVES its cloud woes.
Come on, Apple, buy Dropbox. not some stupid game company.

Buy both. Problem solved.
post #13 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

You think Steve will have to dip into his personal savings to buy them out?

Given that 148 billion is more than half of Apple's Market Cap, I think that the rumor is untrue.
post #14 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by guidobaldoni View Post

Ginormous data center + Dropbox = Apple SOLVES its cloud woes.
Come on, Apple, buy Dropbox. not some stupid game company.

A little harsh...but I agree, DropBox is one of the best Apps out there! It keeps my iPhone synced with iMac and Desktop...coupled with 1Password and I'm good to go!

Best!
post #15 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by rtm135 View Post

Kinda funny considering Steve hated originally the idea of the iPhone being a gaming platform since it made it seem less like a business device

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xian Zhu Xuande View Post

Not necessarily true. I remember the articles.

Yep... The way things went (near as I can remember them) is Apple was WILDLY successful with their Apple line of personal computers. Games became very rich looking when compared to the other computers of the day (commodore, TI & atari). So when Steve was working on his next desktop (Lisa née Macintosh) he wanted it to appeal to the serious business user and so began the on again off again love hate relationship with games on Apple hardware. The game developers left (mostly) after reading between the not very subtle lines. Even with the game devellopers mostly driven away Apples Macintosh was still mocked as 'toys' and never made a significant dent in the business world.. Education & Research sure as well as photo, publishing, advertising, and other visually oriented markets but general business ... They never lived down their roots as a toy computer. Long after Steve was gone Apple did make a half-assed attempt to encourage games and even built a console but it was never given the backing required to make it successful... Game developers still remember how Apple treated them, and ran away in droves when Apple tried to pitch the console.

Now as for more recent history.. Steve still wasn't a big game fan... Not until iPhone OS developers and buyers showed him it was OK to embrace and actively encourage the game ecosystem.
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post #16 of 33
I find it interesting that it is also an ISP.

This might wind up being the bigger point - a foothold into China's internet system. Face it, writing games is small potatoes to Apple and outside their core. Maybe to dabble in them a bit. But to have ISP in China with rich-html experience? mmmm to me that sounds very good.

IMHO
post #17 of 33
Dear China,

The tables are now turned. Now American firms are buying your companies? Ha! How do you like them Apples? (Pun intended).

Then the patriotic side of me kicks in and wishes Apple had made the offer to an American game developer. Oh well. Apple's never really been in the game development biz, so maybe it's for the best.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #18 of 33
Has anyone here played or know of any of this company's games? Just curious as to whether there was some really hot game that got Apple's attention.
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post #19 of 33
If true, it's more likely Apple is looking for a foothold into the still growing Chinese gaming market.

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

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post #20 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Apple's never really been in the game development biz, so maybe it's for the best.

But we all remember the pippins success!
/saracasm
post #21 of 33
i love this move by Apple.
post #22 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmmx View Post

I find it interesting that it is also an ISP.

This might wind up being the bigger point - a foothold into China's internet system. Face it, writing games is small potatoes to Apple and outside their core. Maybe to dabble in them a bit. But to have ISP in China with rich-html experience? mmmm to me that sounds very good.

IMHO

Great observation! I must say this may very well be what this buyout is all about. Apple is doing just fine WRT a healthy game environment on the ios platform.. Buying a game developer just so Apple can have 10 or 20 more games to sell on the App Store certainly doesn't make all the much sense... Especially not at the cost of 100+ million bucks! Sure if they had a Halo caliber game in the works then maybe but even then it's really outside of Apples core competency... Yep the more I think about it and the more I read about Googles never-ending trouble in China... Yea, you nailed it...

Quote:
If the rumor is accurate, it could be yet another sign that Apple is interested in creating its own games for devices like the iPhone and iPad in-house. Last November, AppleInsider revealed that the Cupertino, Calif., company was looking to hire a AAA-caliber game developer for its team.

As to this.... While it could mean Apple is going to venture into the gaming market... It could just as well indicate Apple wants a top notch game developer on the IOS design team to better understand what the 3rd party game developers would really benefit from at the core and to act as 'The Face' of Apples gaming technologies / strategy. After all, given Steves history with game developers of years gone by, it might be best if a fresh face was available.
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post #23 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by rtm135 View Post

Kinda funny considering Steve hated originally the idea of the iPhone being a gaming platform since it made it seem less like a business device

What are you basing that on? I don't remember him saying anything like that. He did say he was "surprised" at the popularity of games on the platform at the release of the 3G.
post #24 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by rtm135 View Post

Kinda funny considering Steve hated originally the idea of the iPhone being a gaming platform since it made it seem less like a business device

Never heard anyone said that Jobs hate games on iPhone.

Anyway things change all the time.
post #25 of 33
Hope it's not true: if they are going to buy a game dev, they should buy a quality one. Which means not Chinese.

Like Blizzard (unlikely, they already release everything as Mac/Windows), Valve (controlling Steam? Hell yeah!), BIOWARE (Dragon Age, Knights of the Old Republic, The Old Republic, Mass Effect... would also prevent EA from murdering its core like they did to Maxis)

Or maybe even 2K (Same-date-of-release-as-PC Civilization V Mac version!)

But really, Apple should start their own game studio

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post #26 of 33
When Apple buys companies, they usually integrate them in their company. They want intellectual property and people. Buying a company in the other end of the world is very unusual for them.

So what makes that company so special? I mean there probably are a bunch of nice, cheap gaming companies much closer to Cupertino.
post #27 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by rtm135 View Post

Kinda funny considering Steve hated originally the idea of the iPhone being a gaming platform since it made it seem less like a business device

did steve tell you that personally?
post #28 of 33
It looks like Handseeing is a Sun partner and their "rich internet applications" are typically Java-based. Given Apple's aversion to mobile Java, I don't see a natural fit.

Maybe they own some specific Chinese patents that Apple needs in order to sell the iPhone in China?
post #29 of 33
Questionable...
Low league system integrator with little to nothing in intellectual or engineering assets. But still dirt cheap one, which Apple always admires.

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post #30 of 33
My guess would be that the company has some patents that apple wants to get its hands on. It seems unlikely that if apple wanted to acquire a game development studio for the employees, there are a great many better web/mobile game developers they could go after.
post #31 of 33
It's just more disappointing off-shore business news...
post #32 of 33
You can count on Apple moving more into gaming, be it cloud based (with their new North Carolina developement) or buying other companies.
post #33 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post

I'm still wicked pissed that steve let Microsoft buy Bungie... Oh well at that time Steve had lots of other things to worry about I guess... Like keeping apple alive... But still, it still sucked AND one has to wonder what woulda happened if MS didn't have Halo... \

Why so bitter over the fact that Bungie was purchased by MS? I can still remember the early footage of Halo pre-MS and they were amazing. I honestly don't think that even if Halo was released on any Apple platform that it would have become as popular as Halo did on Xbox. Xbox could have been possibly dead in the water without Halo, but that would've left people with the choice between Sony( F that) and Nintendo. I do find it funny that when John Carmack and others ask Steve to implement a few things so they can create great games on OSX they get denied, but Apple bent over backwards for Bungie back in the day. I dont understand why Apple also didnt look at purchasing any of the dev studios that have been pushing out great games for the iPhone.
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