updated 10:02 am EDT, Wed August 28, 2013
Deal made covertly in February
Apple has quietly bought out a Swedish data compression firm, AlgoTrim, reports say. The acquisition is noted to have actually taken place earlier this year, but gone unnoticed because Apple did it through a Delaware-based holding company, Wedgwood Industries LLC. Wedgwood bought out all of AlgoTrim's shares in February. Swedish news agency Rapidus notes that AlgoTrim's head of software development -- Anders Holtsberg -- recently moved to Silicon Valley, just 15 minutes away from Apple headquarters, and confirmed that he was working for Apple when contacted via that company's phone network.
Holtsberg says he isn't allowed to comment on anything beyond his new position. AlgoTrim, however, specialized in codecs and software related to compressing images and video. It for instance produced a photo album app for Japanese carrier KDDI, which improved JPEG file processing by a factor of six versus the LibJPEG processing typically used by Android devices. Its flagship product is said to be the Code Compression Library, used to compress mobile firmware; devices have been using that technology since 2006.
Apple could be hoping to improve the camera software on its devices, but might also simply be interested in improving the overall efficiency of iOS. The firmware already takes up significant space, and keeps growing as more features are added and it becomes more graphically complex.