Report: Apple acquired personal assistant app Cue

Summary:Apple is veering into Yahoo-like territory when it comes to startup acquisitions lately.

The sudden shutdown of personal assistant Cue spurred many news reports and speculation on Thursday, and now we have a better understanding about what happened.

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It looks like Cue has some new ownership: Apple.

TechCrunch reported that it had confirmed with Cupertino that Apple did indeed make the acquisition. Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but TC speculated the price tag was anywhere between $35 million and $60 million.

The Cue team confirmed via its website on Thursday that its service is no longer available, and Premium subscribers will receive a prorated refund upon request via iTunes.

However, upon searching for the app, iTunes responded that the app is no longer available.

While the iPhone maker has made it a policy of not making waves (or even publicly announcing) its acquisitions, Apple has been drawing a great deal of attention toward its M&A department over the last few months.

Looking at the list of some of the more recent acquisitions, it is evident that Apple is keen on strengthening its mobile software capabilities -- notably around mapping.

Here's a glance at a few of those major purchases:

  • WiFiSlam, a mapping app that uses only ambient WiFi signals that are already present in buildings
  • Locationary, a Canadian big data firm that owns a platform for merging and simplifying business listing data
  • HopStop, an online service offering public transit directions in cities around the world, complete with station information, timetables and more
  • Embark, a mobile app development company focusing on mass transit maps, directions, and alerts in real-time
  • AlgoTrim, a Swedish company specializing in compression technologies to optimize memory handling in mobile devices
  • Passif, a Bay Area-based maker of low-power switch-based wireless transceivers

Topics: Mobility, Apple, Apps, iOS

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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