Internet hype suggests that Apple is in talks to buy micro-blogging site Twitter for US$700m, but industry watchers are quickly moving to quash the rumours. Neither Apple nor Twitter have commented on the stories, which appear to come from a single source 'close to Apple'.
Separate, although similar, stories have appeared on Valleywag and TechCrunch stating that Apple is in 'late-stage' talks to buy Twitter. The stories say that Apple will announce the $700m at WWDC next month.
According to the ValleyWag posting, a senior Apple insider told its reporter that: "Apple and Twitter are in serious negotiations, with the goal of unveiling a deal by June 8, when Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference launches in San Jose."
TechCrunch's poster Michael Arrington has a similar story, stating that 'a normally reliable source' had told him: "Apple is in late stage negotiations to buy Twitter and is hoping to announce it at WWDC in June."
Comprising 'news' about Twitter and Apple, two of the most talked about entities in technology, the rumours have spread like wildfire. However, industry observers have been quick to pour water on the purchase.
Technology Guardian editor Charles Arthur said in a blog posting: "If anyone suggests to you that Apple is about to buy Twitter, tell them 'no, they aren't. I read that in the Guardian'."
And Kara Swisher of AllthingsD points out the similarity between the TechCrunch and ValleyWag posts, and suggests that if Twitter were up for grabs, Google and Microsoft would be way ahead of Apple trying to buy it.
She says in her post: "In point of fact, talks with Facebook last year were actually the only truly deep sale discussions that Twitter has been involved in and those went south."
If Apple is in talks to buy Twitter, it seems like a strange fit. Apple generally buys companies when they fit into its strategy to sell hardware - companies that write software for its devices, for instance, or the purchase of FingerWorks for its touchscreen technology.
It's difficult to see where Twitter's messaging technology would help Apple, particularly given that it doesn't currently make any money. Indeed, given the popularity of iPhone Twitter apps purchased from the Apple App Store, Apple is already making money out of Twitter.