Over the weekend, The New York Times reported that Apple was in talks to invest a significant amount of cash into Twitter. The multi-million dollar investment would raise Twitter’s company valuation to a healthy $10 billion.
But that doesn’t really sound like something Apple would do, does it? If you thought that when you first read this rumor, then you had the right hunch. Apple and Twitter have talked, but not recently. Beyond the current Twitter integration in iOS and OS X, the two companies are merely friends.
We thought about simply updating our original post on this story, but a separate article to debunk the former seemed more appropriate in this case.
Both The Wall Street Journal and Reuters have chimed in since The New York Times first published its report over the weekend. The Journal says that ” there are no current formal investment or acquisition discussions between the companies” while Reuters says the same. Such talks did happen about a year ago, but nothing of the sort has taken place in many months between Twitter and Apple.
The Verge had a great piece today explaining why The Times likely published its report. A slew of poor quarterly earnings were announced last week for major tech companies like Facebook, Zynga, and even Amazon. In short, someone wanted to use Apple as way to bolster Twitter’s perceived worth in light of a bleak financial scene in Silicon Valley.
Apple is the closest thing we have to a sure-thing technology company. If private markets’ valuations and Facebook shares aren’t worth what we thought they were, where do we turn? The surest way to get everyone to believe that these companies are worth a fortune is to show that slow, steady, cash-rich, acquisition-averse Apple thinks they’re worth a fortune. That’s the nearest thing to a gold standard.
What better way to make your startup stand out than by saying that the most valuable tech company on earth is investing?
A closer relationship between Apple and Twitter would definitely be interesting, but for now, it looks like we won’t be getting anything better than Ping and tweet sheets.