Apple acquires Color Labs, sources say

“Color Labs, the photo-and-video-sharing social network that received much criticism over its pre-launch $41 million funding round, is about to be acquired by Apple,” Ken Yeung and Matthew Panzarino report for TNW. “We’ve heard through trusted sources that the startup was nabbed for a price that is in the ‘high double digits’, as in millions, and that the deal is ‘done’, though papers have yet to be signed.”

“From what we know, founder Bill Nguyen has been away from the office for three months, after a period of intense strain between him and the board,” Yeung and Panzarino report. “Some of that has come out in stories so far. But what you may not know is that Nguyen actually designed the first user interface for the Color app. And, even before his relationship with the board soured, he was looking for a way to sell the company. For that, he turned to a previous relationship he had with Apple’s Senior Vice President Internet Software and Services, Eddy Cue.”

Yeung and Panzarino report, “Nguyen started building prototype apps to show to Cue and to other potential suitors, using the resources of the Color team. Those apps were then abandoned after he showed them off. An entirely new version of the Color broadcasting app was built and never released. Apparently, the technique worked as the deal is said to net everyone at Color, including investors, a return on the initial funding. Yes, we know, it seems crazy. But this wouldn’t be Apple’s first time buying one of Nguyen’s startups. They snagged Lala for $80 million in December, 2009.”

Read more, including why Apple might want Color Labs, in the full article here.


  1. Photos Streams Sharing feature needs more than video. Possibility to “Select/Copy” comments at viewer side, better management (Groups, multi-select to add or delete contacts, arrange and re-arrange pictures, etc). As the invitation is automatically translated into the receiver’s language setting, why not some translating functions ?

    1. Speaking of Groups, why oh why doesn’t the Contacts app on the iPhone, iPad have the ability to email to GROUPS yet?
      And I don’t want a third party app to do that. Anyone?

  2. Whisky Tango Foxtrot! If ever there was a poster child for the Social bubble, Color was it. It didn’t seem to do anything let alone have the potential to make money. I can’t believe Apple’s bought it, I’m flabbergasted.

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