Putting its $100 billion cash stash to use, Apple has reportedly acquired app search and discovery platform Chomp.
As TechCrunch reports, the deal couldn’t have come soon enough. “With [the App Store’s] immense scale, a few problems have been revealed. The biggest one is app discovery. There are now over 500,000 apps -- how do you find anything?”
“Apple's App Store has limited search and discovery features, something Apple has worked to improve,” writes AppleInsider. A source tells Bloomberg that Apple paid about $50 million for Chomp. “Chomp is, quite simply, a search engine for mobile applications,” explains ReadWriteWeb. “It spans both the iTunes App Store and Android Market and offers more sophisticated and contextually relevant results for search queries.
Indeed, as the company explains on its Web site: "Chomp's proprietary algorithm learns the functions and topics of apps, so you can search based on what apps do, not just what they're called."
“Apple essentially failed to develop a social network with Ping for iTunes,” writes Search Engine Land. “As a secondary benefit of buying Chomp, it may get another opportunity to do so via [Chomp CEO Ben Keighran] and company.”
As MacWorld sums up: “The seemingly obvious explanation behind the Chomp acquisition is that Apple realizes -- like many of its customers and third-party developers -- that, as the number of iOS apps continues its steady climb to a million and beyond, it’s getting harder and harder to discover new apps in the store.”
More broadly, “The acquisition may show Apple’s intent to use its cash to reinvest in its products, as opposed to giving out dividends,” VentureBeat notes.