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Apple acquires e-magazine publishing firm Prss to bolster Newsstand [update: confirmed]

A report on Tuesday claims Apple has purchased erstwhile magazine app authoring firm Prss in what appears to be an "acquihire" for talent and resources.

Prss


According to a person familiar with the situation, Apple purchased the Netherlands-based Prss earlier this year, possibly after the firm announced a shutdown of services in July, reports Dutch language blog iCulture. Apple has since confirmed the purchase, saying, "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."

As AppleInsider reported in 2013, Prss developed and hosted a Web app that streamlined the process of creating and publishing digital magazines compatible with e-zine platforms like Apple's Newsstand. When the service launched early last year, the drag-and-drop interface and pricing structure showed promise in a field mostly devoid of intuitive publishing tools.

"We started our own software because we as a publisher felt screwed, and we also felt that the readers were screwed," Prss cofounder Michel Elings said at the time.

Apple confirmed the rumored buyout to TechCrunch, but would not comment on the deal's specifics. Elings' LinkedIn profile says he now works out of Palo Alto, Calif, while former Prss employees are now said to be working in the San Francisco area.

The roles Elings and company will take on at Apple are also unknown, but it can be assumed that at least part of their job entails work on Newsstand or Apple's in-house publication tool iBooks Author.

When Prss first launched, Elings called it "the software Apple forgot to make." It seems Apple has remedied the situation.

Update: Apple has confirmed the buy to TechCrunch, offering the usual boilerplate statement, "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."