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Apple reportedly in talks to buy Pinterest competitor The Fancy

post #1 of 69
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According to Business Insider sources, Apple is in talks to acquire social commerce site The Fancy in a move meant to kickstart the tech giant's nascent general e-commerce business.

Apple has long been a leader in e-commerce since the Apple online store opened in 1997, followed by iTunes and the company's iOS and Mac App Stores, but it has yet to enter the general e-commerce category. The rumored acquisition would allow Apple to leverage its formidable number of existing active iTunes accounts with credit cards on file, now numbered at over 400 million, in the arena.

The iPhone maker's new PassBook app, which will be included in the upcoming iOS 6, is a step toward bridging the gap between iTunes and general e-commerce, but the software won't allow users to make credit card purchases. This could change if the rumored Fancy acquisition goes through as users would have the ability to make purchases directly and easily from their iDevices. It should be noted, however, that the system as well as the acquisition remains firmly planted in the realm of speculation.

Kanye at The Fancy
Kanye West visiting The Fancy CEO Jim Einhorn at the company's headquarters in New York.
Source: Kanye West/Twitter


Backed by cofounders of Twitter and Facebook, The Fancy recently gained some notoriety as high-profile figures like Mark Zuckerberg and Kanye West created accounts, the latter even posted a tweet of his visit to the company's headquarters in New York.

Apple CEO Tim Cook is also rumored to have joined the growing network and supposedly met with The Fancy's CEO Jim Einhorn at this year's Allen & Co. Sun Valley retreat which attracts heavyweights from the entertainment, tech and media industries. Cook reportedly lined up a number of meetings during the event, hinting at possible digital media partnerships for Apple TV content and other secret projects.

While The Fancy may not boast as large a following as rival Pinterest, the 20-person startup is "much farther along" in leading users to transactions and currently takes a ten percent cut of each purchase. The site managed to snag a $10 million investment round at a reported $100 million valuation last year which added to the $6 million it raised in 2010.

Apple is no stranger to making strategic acquisitions of smaller tech companies on their way up, evidenced by its recent purchase of app search engine Chomp and Israel-based flash memory maker Anobit. The Siri virtual assistant, widely-advertised as the standout feature of the iPhone 4S was a direct result of a 2011 Apple acquisition. Most recently, the company bought AuthenTec, a biometric security firm well known for its work in fingerprint sensing technologies.
post #2 of 69
Fancy is actually a pretty cool service.

 

 


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post #3 of 69
This is the kind of purchase I can see Apple making, not those huge and mostly foolish choices given to use last week by The Atlantic Wire.

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post #4 of 69
And it's "Fancy", not "The Fancy".

 

 


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post #5 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by logandigges View Post

Fancy is actually a pretty cool service.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

This is the kind of purchase I can see Apple making, not those huge and mostly foolish choices given to use last week by The Atlantic Wire.

 

I honestly don't see the point in Apple buying a service like the Fancy. How does it help their business model?

 

They are a computer and electronics company not an Amazon E-Store.

 

And @SolipsismX actually I think Apple buying Twitter makes more sense than this.

post #6 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbook View Post

They are a computer and electronics company not an Amazon E-Store.

People said the same thing when they announced the iPod. The audience just seemed so uncomfortable. The media could not see what lay ahead for Apple; they only saw that Jobs had fraked up.

I think Fancy's site is fresh and exciting. It also looks like it could have some valuable IP behind it. I think this could work for them. I expected them to buy and make deals with many companies in order to make their move into a secure and easy to use device-based purchases.

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post #7 of 69

Fancy, shmancy... I wonder what they are smoking? Didn't Ping tell them we need no Social crap?

post #8 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason98 View Post

Fancy, shmancy... I wonder what they are smoking? Didn't Ping tell them we need no Social crap?

 

We DO. All that "social crap" is huge, and not having it can be a real deal-breaker. Just a matter of doing it right, elegantly, simply, accessibly.  

post #9 of 69

I could see this happening. If not an outright purchase, at least an investment in their company or some kind of cross-promotion?

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post #10 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


People said the same thing when they announced the iPod. The audience just seemed so uncomfortable. The media could not see what lay ahead for Apple; they only saw that Jobs had fraked up.
I think Fancy's site is fresh and exciting. It also looks like it could have some valuable IP behind it. I think this could work for them. I expected them to buy and make deals with many companies in order to make their move into a secure and easy to use device-based purchases.

Possibly so but this company seems to niche to me. If they want to be more "social" a twitter buy would be better. But if they want an E-Store, this just seems to niche.

post #11 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by logandigges View Post

And it's "Fancy", not "The Fancy".

 

Well Fancy that!

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post #12 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbook View Post

Possibly so but this company seems to niche to me. If they want to be more "social" a twitter buy would be better. But if they want an E-Store, this just seems to niche.

That's the reason I can see them buying Fancy. Well, that plus what I assume is an inexpensive acquisition. It's like all those mapping companyibg they bought. On their own most of them seemed very niche.

Twitter, on the other hand, is full fledged product. It's very "successful" whilst at the same time not being very profitable. I can see Apple giving them a cash infusion and getting a contract for certain Apple-related hashes, APIs, and web-based additions (e.g.: like how YouTube is presented in links). I can't even see them buying a stake in Twitter like they'd done with Imagination Tech.

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post #13 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by logandigges View Post

And it's "Fancy", not "The Fancy".

Well, kinda their own fault!:

 

www.thefancy.com/
post #14 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason98 View Post

Fancy, shmancy... I wonder what they are smoking? Didn't Ping tell them we need no Social crap?

 

Who's 'we'? You? Hundreds of millions of people actively use 'social crap'. Thats reality. And its something Apple can't ignore. Deal with it. Ping failed because it was poorly implemented with little motivation to use it. Doesn't mean Apple can never ever do anything with social again. 

post #15 of 69

Although well done the website is built in aspx (.Net) so it is not something Apple would be interested in. Just my opinion. Culture clash.

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post #16 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

Who's 'we'? You? Hundreds of millions of people actively use 'social crap'. Thats reality. And its something Apple can't ignore. Deal with it. Ping failed because it was poorly implemented with little motivation to use it. Doesn't mean Apple can never ever do anything with social again. 

My problem with Ping falls squarely on how it was to be used. I don't access my iTunes app too often and stay out of iTunes Store as much as possible. I neither write nor read user reviews for anything I buy, even on the App Store.

However, if this was linked to Twitter and it allowed me to see review of someone I followed I might be more inclined to do it myself. I'd surely buy more simply because items that friends, family and whomever else I follow on Twitter are popping up in my lists. I could look for what is popular by search for the #iTunesStore, #iTunes,, #iTS, and/or #AppStore tags in Twitter.

On top of that, also work with Apple to make an API so instead of clicking on the Twitter or FB link to the itunes.apple.com site to get to know the product I can have a Download button on the webpage or within my Twitter client to take me directly to the store within my device, but most importantly let me stream the 1m:30s audio from music without having to leave the Twitter webpage or client app I'm in.
Edited by SolipsismX - 8/4/12 at 9:02pm

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post #17 of 69

Kanye looks enthralled.

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post #18 of 69

The only companies I think Apple should by that I know of are Yelp and Nuance. They use both their technologies now with Siri.

post #19 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmarcoot View Post

The only companies I think Apple should by that I know of are Yelp and Nuance. They use both their technologies now with Siri.

Nuance for sure, because it's tech that Apple doesn't own and would take way too long to build from the ground up. I can certainly make an argument for a Yelp purchase but I'm not that there is any tech for them to buy. It's just the user based and name and that simply isn't something Apple has a history of doing.

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post #20 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by logandigges View Post

And it's "Fancy", not "The Fancy".

But the website is 'theFancy.com"

post #21 of 69

Kanye: "Oooh, I think I'd fancy a pony."

post #22 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by boredumb View Post

Well, kinda their own fault!:

 

www.thefancy.com/

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_CA View Post

But the website is 'theFancy.com"

 

...and do you know why Fancy has the URL 'thefancy.com'? (Hint, type fancy.com)

 

I've been waiting for years for a particular URL to become available but urgency requires imagination. :)

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post #23 of 69

See that's something that Steve never would have done, since leveraging a credit card database to sell more of other people's products doesn't directly contribute to changing the world.

post #24 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Kanye looks enthralled.

He's between drunken binges.

post #25 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

See that's something that Steve never would have done, since leveraging a credit card database to sell more of other people's products doesn't directly contribute to changing the world.

If Steve did such a thing it would be because he was going to change the world, but it wouldn't have seemed so until later when, "BAM."

post #26 of 69

Fancy = beyond stupid. Never even heard f that crap site before. Looks   like a shitty blog.

 

Actually, this is just a marketing ploy by the Fancy. Everything about this is FAKE! 

post #27 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by bighype View Post

Fancy = beyond stupid. Never even heard f that crap site before. Looks   like a shitty blog.

Doesn't look like a blog in any way at all.

post #28 of 69
I don't get it. Is it a gag site? I'm not sure the woman's clothes are actually things you could wear in public, without causing a stir anyway. So when I got to the 'Can of Air, I thought "must be a joke!". The 'vampire killer' kit looks cool for a similar gag gift. I do like the Air Jordan's though.

Strange site...
post #29 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

It should be noted, however, that the system as well as the acquisition remains firmly planted in the realm of speculation.
 

I'm waiting for the New York Times to confirm the story. Then I'll know it's not true ;-)

 

BTW, I visited the Fancy website. Looks like the perfect place for people with way too much money to spend it on over-priced snick-snacks. A wood, scotch-tape dispenser in the shape of a duck? Really? I suppose it quacks when you pull on the tape. <head shaking in disbelief>

 

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post #30 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by waybacmac View Post

I'm waiting for the New York Times to confirm the story. Then I'll know it's not true ;-)

 

BTW, I visited the Fancy website. Looks like the perfect place for people with way too much money to spend it on over-priced snick-snacks. A wood, scotch-tape dispenser in the shape of a duck? Really? I suppose it quacks when you pull on the tape. <head shaking in disbelief>

 

The New Economy: "…a foole and his money is soone parted." - Dr. John Bridges, 1587

 

Exactly...

 

How many people will buy "finger tongs"  to hold their chicken wings so their fingers don't get dirty?  Come on...   

 

The site looks like someone scanned ads and photos from Christmas catalogs or magazines from Neiman-Marcus, Restoration Hardware. Architectural Digest, Town & Country, or similar outfits, and then posted them on a blog.   Stupid stuff for stupid folks.

 

The one item I find interesting is the greeting card that says "Not sent from my iPhone".    Ironically funny, because "The Fancy" seems like the perfect site for all those clueless bozos who either cannot figure out how to change the iPhone setting so it says something besides "Sent from my iPhone", or they leave it set that way because somehow they think when people read a message that says "Sent from my iPhone" it makes them seem cool or validates them.  

 

I can see some sad soul sitting alone in his tiny tiny apartment with a mattress and a lamp, some crates for furniture, but they have a Mac, and iPhone, and iPad, lots of hair products, and a wooden duck-shaped tape dispenser.  Fulfilling. 

 

I am going to need a $50 handcrafted leather belt pouch to hold my finger tongs...

post #31 of 69
Siri was actually acquired on April 27th 2010, not 2011 as this article says.
post #32 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by msimpson View Post

Exactly...

How many people will buy "finger tongs"  to hold their chicken wings so their fingers don't get dirty?  Come on...   

The site looks like someone scanned ads and photos from Christmas catalogs or magazines from Neiman-Marcus, Restoration Hardware. Architectural Digest, Town & Country, or similar outfits, and then posted them on a blog.   Stupid stuff for stupid folks.

I agree - and feel the same way about Pinterest. Waste of time - and I blocked it on Facebook so I don't have to see 10,000 posts about the latest stupid gadget for sale.
Quote:
Originally Posted by msimpson View Post

The one item I find interesting is the greeting card that says "Not sent from my iPhone".    Ironically funny, because "The Fancy" seems like the perfect site for all those clueless bozos who either cannot figure out how to change the iPhone setting so it says something besides "Sent from my iPhone", or they leave it set that way because somehow they think when people read a message that says "Sent from my iPhone" it makes them seem cool or validates them.  

I left my 'sent from my iphone' message in place, but it wasn't for any of those reasons. I use my phone for business email a lot and the responses when I'm on my iPhone will be much shorter than the ones I send from my computer. The message tells the recipient that I'm not being abrupt or curt, but simply sending a shortened message because of the device. It's a lot easier than typing "sorry this is so brief, but it's harder to type on a phone than on a keyboard" every time I respond to an email.
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post #33 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

See that's something that Steve never would have done, since leveraging a credit card database to sell more of other people's products doesn't directly contribute to changing the world.

 

Yup, and another thing he would never have done is wish for people to keep saying "Steve wouldn't have done that."
 
Having said that, this rumour doesn't really hold water. For one thing, it appeared over a weekend, which means it's likely been engineered by some shady outfit somewhere (not Fancy itself) to sucker people into parting with investment money before the company directors can set the story straight.
 
And you are right; buying the company for their credit card database makes no sense at all.  Apple already has 400 million credit cards on file. I doubt these people have more. Looking at the kind of stuff they sell, I reckon they'd be the same credit cards anyway.
 
Unless they have some tech of IP we don't know about, I'd be surprised if any of this is true.
 
 
 
 
 
 
post #34 of 69

Two tin cans on sticks so you don't have to hold your beer while sunbathing.

 

$77

 

Yeesh.

 

 

 
post #35 of 69

If this is true, there has to be a reason for it.

 

 

Imagine if it were as easy to buy Apple hardware as it is to buy an app on the App Store? A bunch of (pre)configured models (Macs, iPhones, iPads, etc.) in a "hardware" category. Accessible right there in the App Store on your iPhone or iPad. Just hit "Buy" and you're done. 
 
I know that if I had to choose between visiting the Apple website and clicking through a bunch of options and other things, and just hitting "Buy" in the App Store, I'd much rather do the latter. 

Edited by Quadra 610 - 8/5/12 at 6:17am
post #36 of 69
How does Fancy make money?

IMO It is a poorly written shopping site/cart with overpriced things that few will actually buy...

What am I missing?
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post #37 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

How does Fancy make money?
IMO It is a poorly written shopping site/cart with overpriced things that few will actually buy...
What am I missing?


They earn revenue by collecting 10% of transactions recorded through their site.

If that's enough to cover their expenses, they make money. If it's not, they're burning investor's money.
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post #38 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by boredumb View Post

Well, kinda their own fault!:

 

www.thefancy.com/

 

They should make them change the name to "iFancy" which would be better and also link it with Apple more.  

post #39 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by msimpson View Post

 

Exactly...

 

How many people will buy "finger tongs"  to hold their chicken wings so their fingers don't get dirty?  Come on...   

 

The site looks like someone scanned ads and photos from Christmas catalogs or magazines from Neiman-Marcus, Restoration Hardware. Architectural Digest, Town & Country, or similar outfits, and then posted them on a blog.   Stupid stuff for stupid folks.

 

The one item I find interesting is the greeting card that says "Not sent from my iPhone".    Ironically funny, because "The Fancy" seems like the perfect site for all those clueless bozos who either cannot figure out how to change the iPhone setting so it says something besides "Sent from my iPhone", or they leave it set that way because somehow they think when people read a message that says "Sent from my iPhone" it makes them seem cool or validates them.  

 

I can see some sad soul sitting alone in his tiny tiny apartment with a mattress and a lamp, some crates for furniture, but they have a Mac, and iPhone, and iPad, lots of hair products, and a wooden duck-shaped tape dispenser.  Fulfilling. 

 

I am going to need a $50 handcrafted leather belt pouch to hold my finger tongs...

 

Well it's obviously not for you, and BTW those ridiculous "finger tongs" are actually very popular right now (I don't know why either).  

 

I only saw a few things I liked out of hundreds I looked through, but I think you are completely mischaracterising the merchandise by calling it "stupid stuff for stupid folks."  I flipped through it a long time and it strikes me more as "unique and interesting things for those that can afford them."  Phrased that way, the clientele is a good match for Apple's customers.  There's a lot of limited edition stuff and a lot of stuff you can't get from any other source except the person that actually makes the thing in question.  

post #40 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by IQatEdo View Post

 

 

...and do you know why Fancy has the URL 'thefancy.com'? (Hint, type fancy.com)

 

I've been waiting for years for a particular URL to become available but urgency requires imagination. :)

I know exactly what you mean.

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