updated 05:10 pm EST, Tue December 21, 2010
Motorola may buy iPhone app maker Zecter
Motorola was claimed on Tuesday to be acquiring key iPhone app developer Zecter. The startup, best known for ZumoDrive and also ZumoCast, could be bought out in the last few days of 2010. TechCrunch has heard it would be the last deal made before Motorola Mobility splits off on January 4, although the new mobile group would be the one to absorb the employees.
The exact purposes behind the acquisition haven't been identified, but Zecter's narrow focus points to Motorola using cloud-based storage and media sharing as a differentiator for its Android phones. ZumoDrive provides a typical online storage service for computers, iPads and iPhones to share general documents, while ZumoCast streams media from a computer to an iPad or iPhone over an Internet connection. Google has supposedly been trying to launch a store with a cloud-based music store for Android devices, but it has failed to get deals and may have led Motorola to make an acquisition for a solution of its own.
None of the involved companies have commented on the story.
The move would be a minor but symbolic wound to Apple. Zecter has been one of the iOS App Store's better-known successes and helped close a gap left when Google bought Simplify Media for what was then supposed to be certain Android support for remote music streaming and a Google music store; neither have happened since. Motorola buying Zecter would partly reopen the gap, although alternatives exist.