When we began hearing about Apple's iCloud, a lot of the TUAW staffers thought the same thing -- why doesn't Apple just buy Dropbox? After all, it works the way that a lot of Apple fans think cloud storage should intuitively work. Well, a story by Forbes staffer Victoria Barret spills the beans on a story we never knew about until now: Apple did try to buy Dropbox in late 2009.
There's a great story that will be in the November 7 issue of Forbes talking about the startup story of the latest Silicon Valley success, and how in December 2009 Steve Jobs invited Dropbox co-founders Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi to a meeting in Cupertino. Jobs made a pitch to buy the company, which Houston promptly nixed. Jobs then "told them he was going after their market," while Houston "peppered him with questions."
We all know the outcome, with iCloud having gone live this last week as a would-be competitor to Dropbox. But Dropbox has done rather well, with 50 million users, one new user signing up each second, and revenues expected to hit $240 million for the year despite the fact that 96% of users don't pay a thing for the service. The company was recently valued at $4 billion, and raised $250 million in capital to grow Dropbox into an Internet powerhouse.
Houston's not too worried about the competition from iCloud and Google's rumored Drive product. The company recently signed an agreement with HTC to add Dropbox as the default cloud storage service for its Android phones, is planning on signing up six more phone firms soon, and is looking at working with PC and TV makers next.
We'll see what happens over the next few years with Dropbox, and whether or not Houston's decision to turn down Jobs in 2009 was a smart move or regrettable choice. Check out the video below for a taste of the Forbes article on Dropbox and the Apple connection.