Apple Inc held discussions in recent months about possibly investing hundreds of millions of dollars in Twitter to gain a social networking presence, the New York Times on Friday, cited people briefed on the matter as saying.
The iPhone and iPad maker, which has never delved deeply into a social media space dominated by Facebook Inc , at one point considered an investment that would have valued the microblogging service at $10 billion but the two were not in negotiations now, the newspaper reported.
Apple declined comment. Twitter did not respond to requests for comment on the deal, which the newspaper said might presage closer ties between the two.
Apple typically prefers to acquire technologies by buying up startups or smaller firms, but on Friday, it said it struck an agreement to buy mobile security firm AuthenTec for $356 million.
Twitter, the Internet phenomenon with some 140 million users that allows people to "tweet" 140-character messages, is already integrated into Apple smartphones and tablets.
The newspaper did not cite its sources on why the world's most valuable technology corporation, which thrives on designing and fashioning hardware, would be interested in buying a slice of the fledgling Internet company.
Twitter executives repeatedly say they are in no rush to seek additional financing, either privately or on public markets, since they have "truckloads" of cash. But the company, once viewed as a promising IPO candidate, has been struggling to earn revenue off the enormous volume of messages it hosts.