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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

One of Apple's latest acquisitions appears to be cloud-based music provider and Omnifone, according to an inside source that shared knowledge of the purchase with MacRumors. Earlier this month, a Music Ally report suggested UK-based Omnifone's tech business and assets had been purchased by a mystery buyer for $10 million, and it seems that buyer is Apple.

According to documents covering the sale, Omnifone's alluring patent portfolio was not purchased by Apple, nor were debts or investments, but terms included a "royalty bearing license" that Omnifone says will help it determine the value of its full range of patents. Omnifone has a number of patents relating to downloading music, digital rights management, and generating recommendations that are potentially appealing to streaming music companies.


Omnifone operated a cloud platform powering its own MusicStation service and serving as the backbone for music services launched through partnerships with mobile carriers like LG, Samsung, Vodafone, BlackBerry, Sony, and more.

Omnifone, for example, powered Samsung's Milk music service in certain locations and it was licensed by PonoMusic to power the PonoMusic Store, which is temporarily unavailable as of today following Apple's purchase of Omnifone. Following its acquisition, Omnifone has abruptly ended all of its partnerships.
One of our key infrastructure partners - Omnifone - has recently been acquired by a large company. An impact of this purchase is that all Omnifone's supply relationships are being terminated, effectively immediately. Omnifone has been the exclusive content provider for PonoMusic.
Omnifone was placed into administration in May after it became clear the company could no longer pay its debts following the loss of clients like Sony and BlackBerry when Music Unlimited and BBM Music were shuttered. A total of 71 staff members were laid off as it sought a buyer for its technology assets.

Apple was believed to be interested in Omnifone's assets early on, with sources in May telling Music Ally Apple would make the purchase.

Update: The Loop's Jim Dalrymple says that according to his sources, Apple did not purchase Omnifone.

Article Link: Apple Likely Acquired Cloud-Based Music Provider Omnifone [Updated]

IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
FWIW, administration in the UK is similar to bankruptcy in the U.S.; it is a court-supervised process of managing the repayment of debts. What is not clear is whether the company is being reorganized (as in Chapter 11) or liquidated (Chapter 7). It appears to be more the former. If Apple had purchased the entire company out of administration presumably they would now own all of their remaining assets.


macrumors 6502a
Nov 10, 2003
outside the crazy house, NC
That moment you can't make $^#t anymore and resort to buying junk like Beats, etc. & this, to keep the train wreck going.

Apple has always done this. The first iTunes was software from another company they purchased and rebranded.

Apple users tend to forget that a lot of Apple software since the return of Jobs has been the result of buying ideas from other companies.

Michael Scrip

macrumors 604
Mar 4, 2011
Apple has always done this. The first iTunes was software from another company they purchased and rebranded.

Apple users tend to forget that a lot of Apple software since the return of Jobs has been the result of buying ideas from other companies.

Exactly. And it's not just Apple. Lots of companies do this.

Some of the biggest software/service products we use today came from somewhere else.

Google acquired at least 8 companies to make Google Maps, for instance.


macrumors 6502
Apr 19, 2016
Tim keep buying music companies, fight for political rights and keep taking selfies around the world when Macs are years behind, outdated and overpriced. Good job Timmy we are all proud of you.

What is the board waiting to fire this tool ?

The entire Apple board should actually be replaced with Timmy.

Carl Icahn please do to Apple what you did to all the other companies you touched.


macrumors P6
May 16, 2015
Seen someone mention they mainly store HiRes music. But I seriously doubt Apple will then reintroduce HiRes for all albums they have released into iTunes Store. Or maybe, Apple Music exclusive?


May 3, 2009
Given that PonoMusic was all Hi-Res music we can hope...

Whatever happened to competition being a good thing? Monopolies are like communism, only not all benefit from the results everyone puts in.

Also, the use of question format terms in "news articles" like "might have", "could have", "likely did", and so on are just tabloid trash or leaks that no company would want since it gives R&D ideas to competition. Ranks right up there with "The cop did this to the cat and it was amazing" and other such loaded headlines that increasingly fail to lure the rubes with. Either Apple bought the company or didn't. It's like saying "I'm a little pregnant". It's a joke and not in a funny way.
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