Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has acquired SnappyLabs, the company behind a popular iPhone camera app, according to unnamed sources cited by TechCrunch. The SnappyCam app made by SnappyLabs enables the iPhone’s camera to take 20 to 30 high-resolution photos per second. As noted by TechCrunch, this is even faster than Apple’s own burst photography mode found in iOS 7.
SnappyCam is the brainchild of Australian entrepreneur John Papandriopoulos. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Papandriopoulos had previously been approached by “a spectrum of companies” from the San Francisco area that had shown an interest in acquiring the SnappyCam app.
It should be noted that although TechCrunch has reported that SnappyLabs was purchased by Apple, the California-based company has yet to confirm the acquisition. However, the SnappyCam app has vanished from the App Store and both the SnappyLabs and SnappyCam websites have displayed “not found” messages since late December.
“In terms of commercial interest in SnappyCam, there’s been quite a bit actually, which has been great in many ways,” Papandriopoulos told Fairfax Media in September. “I’ve spent the last couple of weeks exploring different opportunities in that regard but it’s still a little early to really say anything about it.”
SnappyLabs certainly fits into Apple’s typical acquisition strategy. Instead of trying to buy large companies, Apple usually aims for small companies that have a specific technology it wants to use to augment a particular product or service. During the company’s fiscal fourth quarter earnings call in October, CEO Tim Cook noted that Apple had acquired an average of one company “every three to four weeks” in fiscal year 2013. Apple will likely implement SnappyCam’s technology into its own iPhone and iPad camera software.
As noted by TechCrunch, SnappyCam’s breakthrough photography technology was enabled by Papandriopoulos’s reworking of the JPG image format. Soon after the app was profiled by TechCrunch last year, SnappyCam reached the No. 1 spot on the paid app charts in nine countries.
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