Apple Inc Buys Australian SnappyLabs to Boost iOS Cameras; Apple Still Top Stock for 2014
By Reissa Su | January 6, 2014 6:22 PM EST
Apple Inc has acquired Australian start-up SnappyLabs, creator of rapid-fire iPhone camera SnappyCam. Apple has confirmed the acquisition of the one-man tech company. SnappyLabs is owned by Australian John Papandriopoulus who has a PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Melbourne.
The gold colored version of the new iPhone 5S is seen after Apple Inc's media event in Cupertino, California September 10, 2013.
Mr Papandriopoulus has discovered a way to make Apple's iPhone camera significantly faster by taking full-resolution photos at 20 to 30 frames per second. Techcrunch first reported the story with a tip revealing that SnappyCam was no longer available in the App Store. SnappyLabs' websites also displayed blank pages.
Based on SnappyLabs scientific discoveries in photography technology, Apple Inc may have wanted Mr Papandriopoulus on board to help improve cameras in iOS devices. Various reports have said Apple is keen on acquiring "extremely lean and hard technology-focused" individuals or teams.
The SnappyLabs founder developed SnappyCam to feature his burst-mode photo technology. The app was sold in the App Store for $1. It became the number 1 paid app in nine countries after launching in July 2012.
With the acquisition, Apple Inc may incorporate the new technology in its products including the Mac and MacBook. Photography is always part of the core uses of smart phones. If Apple will have rapid-fire burst mode shooting in its next iPhone, it could prove to be more competitive over rival smart phones like Samsung and other Android manufacturers.
Apple Inc still Top 2014 stock
Apple Inc stocks may have finished low on the first few days of 2014 but that did not stop analysts from thinking the rest of the company's year will be bleak.
Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White has tagged Apple as a top large-cap stock for 2014 with a price target of $777. Despite a lousy stock performance from Apple in 2013, this year will prove to be better for the company.
Mr White revealed that his research indicates Apple Inc is "working hard" to offer investors something exciting in 2014 with product innovations.
Apple Inc shares dropped 1.12 per cent on Jan. 2 after receiving a "Market Perform" rating from a Wells Fargo analyst. Maynard Um downgraded Apple's stocks from an Outperform rating to Market Perform due to market concerns. He maintained the stock's valuation between $536 and $581. Wells Fargo has become skeptical of Apple Inc because of gross margin concerns.
Despite the Wells Fargo downgrade, the analyst continues to be positive of the company's gross margins and the benefits of strong iPad and iPhone sales. Wells Fargo believes Apple Inc's growth will be triggered by the release of the iPhone 6, iWatch and the success of the iBeacon. The company can also stand to benefit from a larger buyback program or increase in dividends.
Not all analysts agree with Wells Fargo as 37 analysts in Wall Street give Apple's stocks a "Buy" rating. A compilation of reports will reveal only 2 analysts have given a Strong Buy rating while 13 went with a Neutral rating. Based on analyst expectations, Apple Inc remains to be one of the top stocks to watch in 2014.
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