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Apple takes on Snapchat and Spotify

News, 29 August 2016

SAN FRANCISCO/LONDON: Tech giant Apple is reportedly developing a video-sharing app that allows users to record video and apply filters or drawings to the content, in much the same way that Snapchat does.

According to unnamed sources who spoke to Bloomberg, the same team that developed Final Cut Pro and iMovie software are working on the prototype video app, which is in the preliminary development stages.

However, Apple is said to be aiming for a launch in 2017 and its aim is to design a product that users can use with one hand and share edited video in less than one minute.

With Apple's hardware business slowing, CEO Tim Cook is reported to be looking to integrate social networking within Apple's mobile products, especially to ensure the company remains relevant to younger consumers.

The "people familiar with Apple's strategy" told Bloomberg that the initiative is in response to the success of social media-focused companies, such as Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram.

Apple did not comment on the story, but Bloomberg cautioned that the company has a history of killing off potential applications mid-development if they don't meet its deadlines or expectations.

Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, there was a more solid indication of Apple's ambition to challenge popular social operators with news that it has signed a deal with EE, the largest mobile phone network in the UK, that is expected to ramp up its challenge to Spotify, the Swedish music- and video-streaming service.

Under the terms of the deal, Apple Music will be offered for free for six months to all new EE customers or those who renew their contracts, the Financial Times reported.

Marc Allera, CEO of EE, said customers would still be able to access Spotify over the EE network but that Apple Music would be the "main pillar" of its music strategy.

EE is reported to be planning a major ad campaign to promote the offer with new ads featuring American singer Britney Spears and Kevin Bacon, the actor who has fronted EE TV ads in the past.

Data sourced from Bloomberg, Financial Times; additional content by Warc staff