The appearance of Path founder Dave Morin in the front row of Tuesday’s iPhone 6 launch event has added credibility to a Pando report that says Apple is about to acquire the struggling social network. Morin tweeted a selfie of him and Dr Dre, who has occupied the front row slot at previous events. Dre’s Beats Entertainment was Apple’s last acquisition.
According to a single well-placed source inside Apple’s engineering team, the company is poised to announce an acquisition of Dave Morin’s Path social network. To quote our source, who requested to remain anonymous because the deal has not been announced yet, “It’s almost done, if not signed already, but it’s essentially a done deal.”
Until recently, Path was all but written off by most people. The social network — which limits users to an exclusive ring of just 150 friends — laid off 20% of its staff a year ago and has gathered only 25 million users.
More recently, Morin told BuzzFeed that Path “maybe” failed:
“Did the experiment fail? Maybe,” he told BuzzFeed News. “Are we trying to take new approaches to the interface and approach it different ways than we did before? Absolutely. … I think failure is a big part of life and being human the best thing we can do is keep moving forward.”
Pando reports that Path’s social network function might by incorporated into a revamped Messages app.
Path and Apple have a history. It was a screwup by Path, in which the app by default uploaded iPhone users’ entire contacts lists, that required Apple CEO Tim Cook to answer letters from Congress about Apple’s efforts to protect user privacy.
And, of course, Morin is a former Apple employee. He had a marketing and product role at the company from 2004 through 2006.