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Now your iPhone apps can be FAT losers: Apple gobbles data diet upstart

File too big to decompress? Børk! Børk! Børk!

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Apple has picked up AlgoTrim, a Swedish upstart that knocks together tools for quickly decompressing apps, photos, videos and other stuff on mobile phones.

As well as image squeezing, AlgoTrim touts a code compression library that crams software into the flash memory of ARM-powered devices, possibly reducing the size of programs by up to 50 percent. This will be handy for Apple, whose iPhones, iPods and iPads all pack ARM processors.

A spokesman for the Cupertino giant confirmed the acquisition to The Reg, but only added its usual tightlipped statement about its intentions.

"Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans," they said.

AlgoTrim develops smartphone-friendly codecs for text, images, video and other data, according to its website, and is particularly fond of Google's Android operating system - Apple's iOS arch-rival, funnily enough.

The startup says it has streamlined its code so that it works well enough on hardware with a limited amount of memory and without burning off the battery charge. It offers (patented) lossless compression and mobile-friendly libraries for handling the usual JPEG, PNG, GIF et al file formats.

AlgoTrim has been around since 2005, when it started out by developing compression techniques for feature phones. It boasts that, by 2011, its code crushing tech has been used in at least 100 million mobes. ®

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