The latest potential suitor for micro-blogging website Twitter has been outed as consumer electronics behemoth, Apple, which according to at least two tech websites is likely to buy the website for at least $700 million.
Gawker journalist Owen Thomas cited a source who is "plugged into the Valley's deal scene and has been recruited by Apple for a senior position", adding that the deal could be unveiled as early as next month.
The report has been kind of confirmed by tech blogging site Techcrunch which said that "a normally reliable source" basically confirmed what Gawker said, although the rumours were not corroborated by any other sources.
Early June 2009 would coincide with Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, California where the announcement might eclipse even the launch of the next generation iPhone.
Twitter has been growing massively over the last few months, boosted by appearances and public endorsements by the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Britney Spears and Ashton Kutcher.
There were claims that Google made an offer to Twitter's owners that was promptly rejected after which it became clear that Biz stone and his partners are (a) after substantially more money or (b) thinking that they can do it all alone.
And then, there's the "matching" factor; Apple buying PA Semi and investing in Imagination Technologies made sense because one could see clearly what Apple is planning to do.
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Investing $700 million in a web-based service like Twitter is a much, much more doubtful investment. Apple has the money but it is still essentially a hardware, brick and mortar company, although that is changing. The Gawker journalist was quick to point out that rather significant discrepancy, saying that " it seems like an odd cultural fit, since Apple's hardly known for its Web prowess."
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