Apple eyes stake in Twitter

Could increase Twitter's valuation from $8.4 billion to more than $10bn

Computer and smartphone maker Apple has been discussing with social media company Twitter the possibility of making a significant investment in it, The New York Times reported late Friday. 

Citing unnamed "people briefed on the matter," the newspaper said Apple was considering investing into Twitter hundreds of millions of dollars, which could increase Twitter's valuation from $8.4 billion to more than $10bn. 

The contacts between the two companies' executives were not formal negotiations, and there were no assurances the two sides will come to an agreement, the report said. 

Apple has already incorporated Twitter features into its software for phones, tablets and computers, The Times said. 

Meanwhile, Twitter has assigned more resources into managing its relationship with Apple. the paper noted. 

Apple's share of the US smartphone market was expected to inch up one percentage point to 31 percent this year, while the share for handsets powered by Google-backed Android software was expected to hit 41 per cent, according to eMarketer. 

On Tuesday, the company reported a rise in its quarterly profit to $8.8bn on hot iPad sales but the results came up short of lofty Wall Street expectations, prompting its shares to dive. 

The profit in the fiscal quarter to June was up 20.5 per cent from a year earlier and amounted to $9.32 dollars a share, well below the consensus forecast of $10.36. 

Revenues rose 22.5 per cent to $35bn, also below expectations of more than $37bn. 

Twitter, which allows its members to post brief comments, links or pictures, claims to have more than 140 million active users, with the largest number being in the US. 

A recent survey found one in seven Americans who go online use Twitter and eight per cent do so every day.