Reports of Apple acquiring mapping company Waze revelaed as ‘fabricated’

Ashleigh Allsopp
6 January, 2013
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TechCrunch this week published a story about the possibility of Apple acquiring navigation service Waze to fix iOS 6 Maps, but the website was quick to quash the rumour, running a follow-up article the following day stating that there is no deal between the companies after all.

“While Mike Butcher also claimed multiple sources in his original post, you’ll note that he was quick to qualify the information as a “rumor”,” TechCrunch journalist MG Siegler wrote.

“Because that’s exactly what it was. This isn’t a rumor (of a non-deal). There is no deal is happening. At least not now or anytime soon. Does this mean Apple and Waze never talked? Of course not,” Siegler continued, highlighting the fact that Waze is already partnered with Apple to provide data for its mapping service.

“And it doesn’t even mean that they haven’t had some low-level conversations about some sort of bigger deal, maybe even an acquisition,” Siegler added, noting that big companies like Apple are regularly in talks with smaller companies, but more of ten than not, a deal doesn’t get made as a result. And according to sources that Siegler has spoken with following TechCrunch’s original report, a deal between Waze and Apple “just isn’t happening.”

Siegler thinks that a deal with Foursquare would be more likely than acquisition of Waze for Apple, something that has also been rumoured as a solution for Apple’s Mapsgate.

TechCrunch‘s second article may have been prompted by a report by CNET, claiming that sources familiar with Apple’s thinking have said that the rumours are completely “fabricated”.

Forbes has suggested that, while a Waze acquisition may not be right for Apple, Google could benefit from buying the company, because the “power of the crowd” behind Waze’s social crowd-sourcing technique could help with services like Street View.

Apple’s Maps app was introduced with iOS 6 in September, but was met by wide criticism for its poor quality, leading CEO Tim Cook to apologise for the bad service, and promise to continue improving the app.

In December, Google launched its Maps app in the iOS Store, a welcome addition for iOS users, who downloaded the app more than 10 million times within 48 hours of its release. The app also sparked a 29 percent increase in iOS adoption.

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