Apple computer users are some of the most devoted and passionate on the planet. But can Macbooks, iPads and iPhones actually unite people in love? Cupidtino sure thinks so.
The company, which launched its online dating service for Apple fanboys and fangirls in 2010, is expanding with a new iPhone app that’s described as the “first-ever Mac-inspired dating app designed exclusively for fans of Apple products.” TechCrunch just wrote about the new app, but what caught my interest was the background of the creators.
Two of Cupidtino’s founders — Mel Sampat and Amol Kelkar — actually used to work at Microsoft. A bit ironic, no?
I asked Kelkar, a former software architect on Windows Live who still lives in the Seattle area and is now working full-time on Cupidtino, what it’s like building an Apple-focused dating site in Microsoft’s backyard.
A self-described Apple fanboy himself, Kelkar said it’s really no big deal.
“It doesn’t feel any different than working on any other unrelated idea/startup,” he tells GeekWire. “The fact that we are in Microsoft’s backyard hasn’t helped/hurt our work.”
The Cupidtino team is actually split between Seattle and California, with Kelkar saying they still have a number of friends at the software giant and “respect many aspects about Microsoft as a company.”
But I doubt that means there will be Windows Phone app for Cupidtino anytime soon.
Kelkar said that an iPhone app has been one of the most requested products since the company launched, and the free app is designed to help Apple fans “discover other fanboys and fangirls near them.” A $4.99 upgrade allows users to send unlimited messages and chat with their favorite fanboys or fangirls.
Here’s more on the premise of Cupidtino, a name which is a play on Apple’s headquarters location of Cupertino, California.
“Die-hard Mac and Apple fans often have a lot in common — personalities, creative professions, a similar sense of style and aesthetics, taste, and a love for technology. As Apple fans we love to hang out in cafés with our Macbooks and iPhones. Part of what we pay for is a chance to run into another geek who’s just as much into photography, design, Netflix, hybrids, the BBC, HTML5, polar bears, Wired, Whole Foods, Coldplay and Angry Birds as we are. Cupidtino is like that neighborhood café where the people are hip, decor is classy, conversation is intelligent and prices are reasonable. But it’s open at your convenience, folks are from around the world, and it’s less awkward to talk to someone.”
Cupidtino boasts 31,000 members (both paid and free), and as you can imagine Seattle is not in the top cities. (They are LA, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Moscow, London and Toronto).
But here’s the key question: Does Cupidtino actually work? Well, here’s one story of a U.S. Marine stationed in Japan falling for a California girl.