Rumor: Apple to buy streaming video sharing startup Color

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23


    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.

  • Reply 2 of 23
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,157member


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

  • Reply 3 of 23


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

  • Reply 4 of 23


    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.

  • Reply 5 of 23
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,509member
    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 [B]NasserAE[/B] refers to above.
  • Reply 6 of 23
    jakebjakeb Posts: 557member
    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
  • Reply 7 of 23
    $79.5 Million.. just for a domain name.. Thats great business sense, even if you do have oodles of coin !!
  • Reply 8 of 23
    adamcadamc Posts: 572member
    Looks like we are the experts and Apple is totally clueless.../s
  • Reply 9 of 23


    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.

  • Reply 10 of 23

    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.

  • Reply 11 of 23
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,438member
    montyburns wrote: »
    $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...
  • Reply 12 of 23

    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).

  • Reply 13 of 23
    irelandireland Posts: 17,585member

    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

  • Reply 14 of 23
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,509member
    harbinger wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 23
    irelandireland Posts: 17,585member

    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.

  • Reply 16 of 23
    irelandireland Posts: 17,585member

    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.

  • Reply 17 of 23
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,509member
    ireland wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 23
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,228member
    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,
  • Reply 19 of 23
    irelandireland Posts: 17,585member
    flaneur wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 23

    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.

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