Apple has acquired app SnappyCam as well as its developer SnappyLabs, USA Today reports. As the name implies, this iOS-exclusive $1 utility app allows users to take full-resolution pictures rapidly using a high-volume burst mode. Since the purchase, SnappyCam has been removed from the App Store, according to TechCrunch.
One interesting facet of this deal is that Apple acquires SnappyCam as well as the SnappyLabs company. Details of the acquisition have not yet been released, and the price Apple paid was not disclosed. The fact that the company was interested in the app as well as the developer could mean that Apple wanted to bring in talent from the company, specifically Founder John Papandriopoulos, an electrical engineering PhD from the University of Melbourne who invented the technology behind the app.
Another possibility is that Apple wanted to eliminate a potential competitor. The app’s burst-mode feature was included as a standard part of the iOS 7 update. Though SnappyCam takes higher-resolution photos than the camera app that comes with the operating system, casual users who just want a fast shutter speed have been able to use this feature in iOS 7 for several months, which may have limited the appeal of SnappyCam.
Apple has acquired a potential competitor just to shut them down in the past. In 2009, Apple acquired and subsequently shuttered a music service called Lala.com that appeared poised to become a competitor to iTunes. Apple has not made its intentions regarding this most recent move public. An Apple spokesperson declined to comment on the specific acquisition, saying: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” Re/code reports.
Tech Companies on a Buying Spree?
Apple made 11 acquisitions in 2013, more purchases than in the previous five years combined. However, as Apple acquires SnappyCam, Apple’s competitors are making some interesting acquisitions as well. Just two days ago, Google acquired app developer Bitspin, which also made a popular alarm app for the Android platform, according to ZDNet. Of course, strategic purchases are nothing new to the tech world, but keeping an eye on tech acquisitions, even small ones such as Bitspin and SnappyCam, could give enthusiasts and investors a clue to what big companies like Apple and Google are planning.
As Apple acquires SnappyCam, what do you think the tech giant’s next move will be?
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