A company like Apple doesn't get to do much secretly these days. Just about everything out of Cupertino makes news. The latest is that they have agreed to buy Bill Nguyen's Color Labs for something in the “high double digits.” I'm thinking that doesn't mean ninety-nine bucks.
Nguyen has been on the outs with the board of Color Labs for three months, so it's not a surprise that the company was up for grabs and willing to find a new home. Additionally, the photo/video social network never could seem to decide what it wanted to be. Though it started out with $41 million in funding, it couldn't even decide whether it wanted to be a photo or a video app.
Nguyen had designed the original app, and recently had built more prototypes and was marketing them around to Apple’s Senior Vice President Internet Software and Services, Eddy Cue and others. Those prototypes were abandoned, and now the company, and all its employees and investors, is being packed up with the sale.
It's entirely possible that Apple doesn't even want the app or apps necessarily, but other resources that Color Labs can provide. There are several patents Color has applied for recently including “sharing content among a group of devices” and “user device group formation.” With everything iOS is doing with shared photo streams, this could be a huge interest to them. The software engineering team is also included in the purchase price, and let's not forget how Apple bought Siri and its developers to their side a few years ago.
This seems like it will be a business venture that everyone can be pleased with, except possibly Bill Nguyen, depending on what he gets out of the deal for the company he founded. The employees have to be happy to end up in Cupertino, the investors even more so, Apple has some nice new toys to play with, and it seems us users will be the benefactors of all this very soon.
Photo Credit: mashable.com