Apple Acquires App Search Engine Chomp

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Apple buys Chomp for a reported £31.5 million – leading to rumours of an app store redesign

Apple has acquired app search engine company Chomp, fuelling speculation that it is planning a redesign for the App Store.

The Cupertino-based company has confirmed the takeover, but refused to say home much it paid for Chomp.

Chomping Apple

“We buy smaller technology companies from time to time and generally don’t comment on our purposes or plans,” said an Apple spokesperson, although Bloomberg is reporting that someone familiar with the matter has said the deal cost it $50 million (£31.5m).

Chomp’s software allows users to search for mobile apps and is available for Android, iOS and via the web. One of the criticisms of the App Store is that it is difficult to navigate outside of the featured areas of the store, but Chomp returns a variety of options that fit the searched descripton. Verizon currently uses the software for its own app store.

There are more than 500,000 applications on the App Store with total downloads amounting to more than 15 billion and the success of the App Store prompted Apple to launch a Mac App Store in January 2011

Apple’s main rival Android is the most popular mobile operating system in the world and the Android market boasts 400,000 apps but developers remain concerned about the fragmentation of the platform and security threats. However Android overtook iOS for App downloads in October last year.

Microsoft will launch its own app store for the upcoming Windows 8 operating system in an effort to compete with Android and iOS tablets.