Apple Acquires App Search Provider Chomp

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By Bhaskar Prasad | February 24, 2012 10:16 PM EST

Apple Inc. has acquired San Francisco-based Chomp Inc.

Apple will use Chomp's technology, along with its talent, to redesign how people find apps through the App Store.

The App Store has often been criticized for not helping users easily find the application they want.

Chomp was launched in early 2010 as an alternate search tool for sifting through Apple's App Store. It branched out to Google's Android platform the following year. Its technology provides results based on an app's function, instead of its name.

Apple's mobile devices lead the industry in applications, with more than 550,000 available in the company's App Store. Apple is closing in on 25 billion total downloads from the store, Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said Thursday.

The acquisition may show Apple's intent to use its cash to reinvest in its products. Following the success of the iPhone and iPad, Apple has accumulated $97.6 billion in cash and investments on its balance sheet. Apple's executives said earlier this year that acquisitions were among the options it's considering for the money.

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