Reports that Apple is buying the nearly dead social networking service Color may have been overstating the deal a little now that new sources are telling AllThingsD that instead Apple is buying the company's engineers.
The sources said the amount of money changing hands isn't in the high "double digit" millions as had previously been heard, but instead will land between $2 million and $5 million. The deal will get Apple most of Color's employees, but not intellectual property, domain names and other liabilities.
It looks like Apple isn't interested in the software engineers for their social network coding skills. Instead they'll be working on cloud-based technology, but the sources didn't elaborate on exactly what that will entail.
Color Labs made the news early last year when its showed off its location-based social network where users post photos and videos for other people in the same area to see. Other social networking services focus on users choosing to follow each other independently of geographic location.
The company also managed to raise over $40 million from investors before failing to take off.
Color Labs co-founder Bill Nguyen has a history with Apple, too. The Cupertino-based company bought his earlier venture, the online music streaming service LaLa, then later shut it down.
With the apparent sale of its talent, Color Labs doesn't have much beyond a handful of patents left and its executives aren't saying what's in store for the rest of the business.