A new report from Business Insider today reveals that after making its first stab at acquiring Leap Motion back in 2013, Apple may have made another offer between $30m-$50m for the augmented reality start up this year.
Leap employees were reportedly celebrating this past spring when it seemed Apple was close to acquiring the company for as much as $50 million. Things were moving along and Apple even sent out some paperwork in official folders.
Apple had already started talks with Leap Motion’s human resources department to review company benefits and sent out offer letters enclosed in white folders emblazoned with its silver signature logo — the arrival of which caused many employees to break out in high-fives around the office.
However, very shortly before the deal was made official, it all fell apart, said anonymous Leap employees. According to those sources, this second attempt at an acquisition was shot down by Leap co-founders David Holz and Michael Buckwald.
While BI doesn’t mention any specific comments from Holz or Backward this time around, the cofounders have shared strong feelings about Apple in the past. Specifically, Holz was reportedly offensive when talking to Apple representatives in the past, including the comment that their tech “sucked.”
Not only did Holz seem disinterested in Apple’s prospective offer to acquire its team and intellectual property, the people said, but he was insulting. He told Apple representatives that the company was no longer innovative, that its technology “sucked,” and — to the disbelief of many there — went on to praise the virtues of Android.
One Leap employee even described Holz saying that he thought Apple was “the devil.”
“That’s why the Apple thing didn’t work out. David was like, ‘I’m never going to go work for those guys, they’re the devil,'” a person who worked for Leap Motion at the time said.
Apple was allegedly not interested in Leap Motion’s hardware, but rather it’s employee talent.
The latest rumors suggest that Apple could unveil some sort of AR glasses by 2020, and the company highlighted augmented reality again at its October iPad and Mac event.