Is Apple Secretly Plotting A New Attack After its Latest Acquisition?

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) may acquire photo- and video-sharing social network Color Labs, according to a report by TNW. Founder Bill Nguyen is said to have demonstrated Color Labs technology to Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services.

Although Colors Labs has achieved some success with its free iOS and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android apps, rumor has it Nguyen ran into conflict with the board and that the $41 million start-up would close its doors. A buyout would certainly be a welcome alternative, even if Apple ultimately shuts down the business, which seems likely.

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Apple is thought to be more interested in the company’s patents and patents pending than the smartphone application. Color Labs patents include a file format for HD video, as well as six patents pending on social sharing, GPS location, and battery-saving capabilities.

Apple could roll these capabilities into the iPhone. The company has been growing its sharing and social networking functions, most recently integrating Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) into iOS. Video streaming and photo sharing capabilities could be similarly integrated into Apple’s mobile operating system, perhaps steering users away from YouTube. And Color Labs’ GPS patents could be used to improve Apple’s much-criticized new map app.

Although still unconfirmed, Apple is said to have already offered Color Labs a multi-million-dollar deal in the “high double digits,” which might be enough to pay out investors while offering them a significant return on their investments.

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