According to Rapidus.se (via TechCrunch), Apple has purchased a Swedish firm called AlgoTrim for an undisclosed price. The small company specializes in image and video, specifically JPEG, compression techniques on mobile devices which allow faster processing of images on power-constrained mobile devices.
AlgoTrim™ develops advanced solutions for mobile devices within the fields of data compression, mobile imaging and video, and computer graphics.
These solutions are designed to excel in terms of high performance and small memory requirements, making them ideal for mobile devices. Many solutions offered by AlgoTrim are codecs that are the fastest on the market, for example, the lossless codec for general data compression and the imaging codecs.
Apple could use these codecs in its camera and image viewing and manipulation apps on iOS. It is probable that the cost of picking up the company and owning the technology outweighed the cost of licensing the technology over its hundreds of millions of devices. This also could be an “aquihire”.
Apple is no stranger to the Swedish technology market. It picked up Polar Rose in 2010, a face recognition company and C3 a Swedish 3D mapping company in the run up to its Maps product launch. Cupertino has been on a bit of a startup binge lately buying such companies as Embark and Matcha.tv.
Last year, AlgoTrim reported a revenue of 3.0 million USD, with an net income before taxes of EUR -1.1 million. Until now, AloTrim has been focused mostly on Android development.
Update: The acquisition has been confirmed to TechCrunch:
Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.