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Apple may have been considering large Twitter investment

Apple, reportedly in talks with Twitter over the past few months about taking a big stake in the micro-blogging service to help shore up its social networking deficiencies, hasn't reached a deal with the San Francisco start-up, according to reports.

The size of the investment Apple had been mulling could have been "in the hundreds of millions of dollars," according to The New York Times, which cited unnamed sources as saying that talks in recent months put Twitter's valuation by Apple's at more than $10 billion (£6.36 billion), or at least $1.5 billion (£954 million) more than the company had been valued previously.

Neither Apple nor Twitter has responded to requests for comment.

The Wall Street Journal also reported late last week that talks between Apple and Twitter had occurred, but contrary to the Times' report, the Journal has said that they had happened more than a year ago.

Bloomberg, also reporting that the talks tailed off more than a year ago, reported this weekend that the discussions were no longer ongoing, though did point out that Apple's new Mountain Lion operating system has added direct support for Twitter.

Apple's lack of a social media presence is seen as a flaw in a company that has been arguably the most successful tech firm of the past five years. Of consumer technology's 'Gang of Four' companies as named by Google chairman Eric Schmidt last year, Apple is most deficient in social media.

The others are Facebook, the largest social media company in the world, Google, which launched Google+ last year, and Amazon, which maintains lively forums for discussing books and other products it sells. Two more companies, Microsoft and Sony, run gaming networks associated with their Xbox and PlayStation consoles that are used by millions to collaborate and socialise.