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Rumor: Apple to buy streaming video sharing startup Color

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Less than one day after it was reported that Apple inked a deal to purchase media consultancy group Particle, rumors of another acquisition have hit the web, this time suggesting the Cupertino company is on the verge of buying video sharing company Color Labs.

Color Labs
"Color" app logo. | Source: Color Labs


According to "trusted sources" familiar with the matter, Apple has agreed to acquire Color Labs, a photo and video-sharing social network, according to The Next Web.

The publication claims Apple paid in the "high double digits" for the company, alluding to a multi-million dollar deal, and while the necessary documents have yet to be signed, the deal is essentially "done."

Founded by Bill Nguyen and Peter Pham in 2011, Color Labs was at the center of some controversy after netting $41 million in a pre-launch funding round, a massive investment compared to the usual $1 million in seed money seen by most comparable start-ups. The company released a photo-sharing app, though the initiative failed to draw users, prompting Pham to exit three months after launch and Chief Product Officer DJ Patil to do the same one month later.

Nguyen changed strategies and created a new video-sharing app that allows users to record and post 30-second silent video to Facebook, a direction that netted Color a deal with Verizon in May.

Interestingly, The New York Times reported on Wednesday that the startup had just denied claims that it would be shuttering operations after an email released earlier in the day said the board and shareholders chose to ?wind down? the company. In addition, Nguyen is said to have been absent from the company for three months, supposedly due to tension with the board.

It is unclear what Apple plans to do with Color if it was indeed acquired, however The Next Web speculates the prize could be for intellectual property including "one for a file format that they were working on to record HD video." Color reportedly had six patents pending before the company launched, "including its ?elastic? social graph and patents related to GPS location and battery saving."

If the rumors are accurate, the Color Labs buy would be the second start-up created by Nguyen to be purchased by Apple, the first being music streaming service Lala in 2009.

Wednesday's news comes on the heels of similar rumblings suggesting Apple had acquired creative consulting company Particle.
post #2 of 24

This is just because of the naming conflict with their existing application.

 

I say that because the alternative is outlandish talk of Apple creating their own answer to YouTube.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #3 of 24

I find it interesting that this rumor comes the same day as another rumor about Color shutdown.

post #4 of 24

Fearless prediction: whatever it is, it'll be rolled into iCloud.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #5 of 24
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post
Fearless prediction: whatever it is, it'll be rolled into iCloud.

 

Ooh. This could very well be to add videos to Photo Stream.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #6 of 24
Too bad Gruber couldn't wait to link to an earlier story, and he's probably sleeping or goofing off right now and can't update:

http://daringfireball.net/

Fifth item down. Probably what NasserAE refers to above.
post #7 of 24
You have got to be kidding me. There is no reason to buy Color. It is one of the most pointless app in a town full of pointless apps. It's video streaming for short periods of time with no sound, unless for some reason you're on Verizon, then your video can have sound.

If they're buying them, it's for the domain name. Color.com
post #8 of 24
$79.5 Million.. just for a domain name.. Thats great business sense, even if you do have oodles of coin !!
post #9 of 24
Looks like we are the experts and Apple is totally clueless.../s
post #10 of 24

Color Labs was founded by Bill Nguyen, who sold Lala to Apple back in 2009. What did Lala become? Ping ...

 

With that history, it would be interesting to see if they might do another deal. Two ways to look at it - First, Nguyen knows Apple and vice-versa. And there are solid patents and good engineers to pick up. Plus, the money is chump change for Apple. Another view - the last deal didn't pan out for Apple.

 

Either way, Gruber did jump the gun on the Color news. Techcrunch has stated that Color is denying the rumor about its door closing.

 

Ironically, just over a year ago, Google tried to buy Color and was turned down.

 

We may never find out the whole story. Some rumors Apple acquisitions are never officially announced because the acquired company is private and the transaction is too small for Apple to have to report in full. Sometimes, we only find out about it from the LinkedIn profile of the engineers at the target company.


Edited by Harbinger - 10/18/12 at 1:02am
post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harbinger View Post

Color Labs was founded by Bill Nguyen, who sold Lala to Apple back in 2009. What did Lala become? Ping ...

 

With that history, it would be interesting to see if they might do another deal. Two ways to look at it - First, Nguyen knows Apple and vice-versa. And there are solid patents and good engineers to pick up. Plus, the money is chump change for Apple. Another view - the last deal didn't pan out for Apple.

 

Either way, Gruber did jump the gun on the Color news. Techcrunch has stated that Color is denying the rumor about its door closing.

The last Lala deal worked out very well for Apple.  Lala is at the heart of iCloud streaming / downloading now.  You may not recognize it but it's there.

 

Colors has huge potential for Apple.  Think of live one to many broadcast of Video, audio, presentation etc.... using a mobile device with LTE.  It's a very good fit.

 

Time will tell.

post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by montyburns View Post

$79.5 Million.. just for a domain name.. Thats great business sense, even if you do have oodles of coin !!

Color me blind; that's a lot of money. The app doesn't seem to do much, just sharing a 'live' version of your photo or a 60 second video with others who have this app installed. I must be missing something here...
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post

The last Lala deal worked out very well for Apple.  Lala is at the heart of iCloud streaming / downloading now.  You may not recognize it but it's there.

 

Good point. I sit corrected. And so, it's win-win-win for Apple by acquiring Colors' technology, patents and talent (all related).

post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post

Too bad Gruber couldn't wait to link to an earlier story, and he's probably sleeping or goofing off right now and can't update:
http://daringfireball.net/

 

He's earns his living from being an asshole: http://daringfireball.net/linked/2012/10/17/color-shut-down

Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #15 of 24
Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harbinger View Post

Good point. I sit corrected. And so, it's win-win-win for Apple by acquiring Colors' technology, patents and talent (all related).

Between the two of you, clarification emerges. Very interesting, and bears looking into. I like the one-to-many streaming idea, if it means what I think it does. Let's hear more.

The problem with Ping, seems to me, was 1), the name—almost like Bing, and 2), you can't make a "social network" be ABOUT anything. All you can do is provide the platform, like the way you farm mollusks with nets. Put it in the water and they will colonize, if the environment is right. Or not.
Edited by Flaneur - 10/18/12 at 7:00am
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by jakeb View Post

You have got to be kidding me. There is no reason to buy Color. It is one of the most pointless app in a town full of pointless apps. It's video streaming for short periods of time with no sound, unless for some reason you're on Verizon, then your video can have sound.
If they're buying them, it's for the domain name. Color.com

 

They are not paying $80M for a domain name. I'd say it's a combination of IP, underlying technology and talent, just like Lala, which was founded by the same guy. Get ready for Gruber to 'explain' this away.

Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harbinger View Post

Color Labs was founded by Bill Nguyen, who sold Lala to Apple back in 2009. What did Lala become? Ping ...

 

Lala did not become Ping. It became iTunes Match.

Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

He's earns his living from being an asshole: http://daringfireball.net/linked/2012/10/17/color-shut-down

Wow, so could you, even better than he can.

What is it with you and Gruber? Competion?

Actually he earns his living by thinking about Apple's game from a nuts-and-bolts level better than just about anybody. Name somebody (besides yourself) that does it better.
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Ooh. This could very well be to add videos to Photo Stream.

That would be cool, I'd even like for iOS to sync videos from iPad and iPhone automatically to my Mac as it does with Photos. Unless I am missing something (quite likely) I have to jump through a few hoops including using iMovie on the iPad to get them off of the iPad and onto my Mac,
Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini.
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Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini.
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post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post

Wow, so could you, even better than he can.
What is it with you and Gruber? Competion?
Actually he earns his living by thinking about Apple's game from a nuts-and-bolts level better than just about anybody. Name somebody (besides yourself) that does it better.

He's also a cult leader by the looks of it.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

 

Lala did not become Ping. It became iTunes Match.


You're right. I related it to Ping because Lala did have a social aspect to it.

post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

This is just because of the naming conflict with their existing application.

 

I say that because the alternative is outlandish talk of Apple creating their own answer to YouTube.

 

Or perhaps they want these folks and their expertise to help them create some kind of 'shared video stream' in iCloud similar to what they just added for video. 

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harbinger View Post

Color Labs was founded by Bill Nguyen, who sold Lala to Apple back in 2009. What did Lala become? Ping ...

 

 

 

No it didn't. If It had then Ping might have been worth something. But the only parts of lala.com that were in Ping were being able to follow users and the matching your purchases. The rest, the really good parts of Lala.com like the one time streaming of any song you don't own and the instant playlists, never arrived. And to this day I say that is a huge mistake.

 

Just like it is a huge mistake that they have totally crappy metadata for their iTunes stores, especially the books and they haven't found a way to get around the contracts that let folks like Warners withhold shows etc from the store due to 'exclusive syndication deals' or a way to leverage quality upgrades and pricing downgrades with all access on all devices. 

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #24 of 24
@Ireland, Nah, you don't want to be saying that. The last refuge of someone who doesn't get it, e.g., "Apple is a cult, it's all about the fruit logo . . ." etc.
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