Apple Reportedly Developing Snapchat Clone For iPhones

It's pretty remarkable how popular Snapchat has become. That hasn't gone unnoticed by the tech community at large—Facebook tried on at least two occasions to buy Snapchat, first for a whopping $1 billion then again for a staggering $3 billion, both which were turned down. Now Apple appears to want in on the action, though instead of making a bid for Snapchat, it wants to build its own version.

Citing people familiar with Apple's strategy, Bloomberg says the Cupertino outfit wants to develop a video sharing and editing app similar to Snapchat as part of a broader mandate to focus on integrating social networking programs within its mobile products. Apple's taken notice of the success that companies like Facebook and Snapchat continue to have in the mobile space and figures it's in a good position to compete on the software side.

iPhone Snapchat

This is viewed by Apple as being especially important as its hardware business slows. Back in April, Apple reported its first ever year-on-year decline in iPhone sales and its first revenue in 13 years. Apple said it sold 51.2 million iPhone devices during the quarter, compared to 61 million during the same period a year prior.

With the iPhone 7 launch on the horizon, there's bound to be a spike in iPhone sales, which should appease investors for the time being. But as time goes on, it will be interesting to see there's another sales drop in few quarters. Either way, Apple knows there's a big market in social media and it has yet to really tap into it, despite failed past attempts—anyone remember Ping, a social network tied to iTunes that Apple launched around this time in 2010? Anyone?

While Ping didn't go on to become the thriving social network Apple hoped it would be, Snapchat is enjoying 150 million daily active users who spend an average of 30 minutes per day using the app. Part of Apple's plan to compete is by revamping its iMessage service, which when updated will include new animated effects, but it can't stop there.

The dedicated video sharing app Apple is working on will have filters and drawings. It will allow users to send videos to contacts or through social networking services such as Twitter. The aim is also to make the app easy to use with one hand so that a user could record a video, edit it as needed, and upload it in under a minute.

Don't expect to see the end result launch with the iPhone 7. Apple's shooting to have it finished sometime in 2017, whereas the iPhone 7 is expected to launch in the first week of September.