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Apple to buy troubled photo sharing startup Color Labs

Apple is rumoured to be acquiring troubled photo sharing app Color Labs (opens in new tab), it was revealed today.

According to tech blog The Next Web (opens in new tab), sources say Apple will pay "high double digits, as in millions" for the start-up although no papers have yet been signed.

Color Labs launched with much fanfare last year as a location-based photo-sharing app for iOS and Android. Its founder Bill Nguyen managed to secure some of the biggest backers from Silicon Valley and it is rumoured a colossal $41 million was spent on the launch.

In 2009, prominent entrepreneur Nguyen, sold another one of his startups called Lala to Apple for $80 million (£50 million).

Color Lab was initially an innovative application where phones could group photos taken with nearby devices through the app, but has recently shifted its focus to sharing videos on Facebook.

(opens in new tab)Color has failed to gain much ground in the last year with many tech insiders believing the concept was 'over-hyped' and flawed from the beginning. There have been reports of a massive fallout between Nguyen and the company's board of directors.

Recently, it was reported that the company was going to shut its doors (opens in new tab), something that was quickly denied.

Industry insiders think that Apple's interest in buying Color Labs is because the tech giant wants the numerous patents that the firm holds. These include patents for sharing content among a group of devices and user device group formation.

Apple and Color have yet to confirm the claims.

This news comes after it was announced earlier this week that Apple had bought the Justin Timberlake-backed Web app design firm Particle.