Ina Fried

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Apple Acquires Cue, the Now-Shuttered Personal Assistant App

Apple has indeed bought personal assistant software maker Cue, whose software abruptly shut down earlier this week.

Cue founders Daniel Gross and Robby Walker

Multiple sources confirmed the deal, which was first reported by AppleInsider.

Apple confirmed the purchase but declined further comment.

“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” Apple said in a statement.

As reported by TechCrunch, the price is said to be upward of $40 million, though that figure may include earnouts or other incentive pay, sources said.

On its website, Cue said it is shutting down its service and issuing refunds to paid customers, but did not offer much in the way of explanation. Cue began life as mobile search company Greplin, before changing names and shifting to the personal assistant arena.

“We appreciate all of the support from you, our users, as Cue has grown over the last few years,” Cue said. “However, the Cue service is no longer available.”

It also said no data was being transferred to another party and that all information it had has been deleted.

“We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause you,” the company said.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work