Collaboration company 37Signals bought the popular Ember iPhone app, which uses the company's Campfire API (our Campfire API profile) to display and update chats. The app has been renamed 37Signals Campfire and is now available for free (previously $9.99).
Based on the 37Signals announcement, it does not appear that anyone will join 37Signals full-time. The news of the app acquisition is still a developer success story in at least two ways.
Overcommitted, the company behind Ember, got the attention of 37Signals with its great work. When 37Signals decided to hire out its Highrise app, the company chose Overcommitted. Then, of course, seeing its app acquired is good for everyone involved, including users. As Overcommitted explained:
Working with 37signals on their official version of Highrise we realized there are parts of the experience that only the service providers themselves can offer in the app. With Ember becoming Campfire it's our hope that we will see a similar effect with its experience.
We've seen other mashups acquired, of course. Most similar to this acquisition, Twitter bought Tweetie, an iPhone app that uses the Twitter API, in April. That app was also rebranded and made free.