Apple plans to acquire the maligned social photo network startup Color Labs, according to a report from TheNextWeb. Sources said Apple’s bid for Color was in the “high double digits” in millions, and the deal is “done,” but has yet to be contractually finalized. TNW speculates Apple may have been drawn to Color’s patents relating to GPS location, battery saving, and possibly a file format for recording HD video. This would be the second startup Apple has purchased from Color co-founder Bill Nguyen — the company purchased Lala for $80 million in December 2009.
Color drew criticism for its $41 million in funding and subsequent launch of its disappointing Color for Facebook app. However, the company’s Color – Live Video Broadcast app is currently averaging a four-star rating on iTunes.
Updated Oct. 17: AllThingsD is reporting that Apple is only acquiring Color’s engineering team — about 20 people, which is almost the whole company. According to the new report, Apple is not acquiring Color, and no “double digits” deal in the millions is involved; instead, a figure in the single-digit millions will be paid to hire the company’s personnel. Color’s technology, intellectual property, domain names, and liabilities will remain with the company, which will be “wound down.” Apple and Color declined comment. The report notes there have been many conflicting stories about the deal within the past 24 hours, likely due to “bad blood” between the many entities involved.