Market Overview

Apple to Buy Company that Bashed its Maps App

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) is reportedly interested in acquiring Waze, a community-based traffic and navigation app for iOS and Android.

According to TechCrunch, Waze was the only app to gain "meaningful market share" after Apple's own mapping program failed. The company believes that it has a lot to offer and reportedly wants as much as $750 million for the buyout. Apple hopes to pay $400 million plus $100 million in incentives.

By acquiring Waze, Apple would gain access to 30 million drivers who already use the app. These drivers make up the Waze community, which uses real-time info to provide users with the fastest route to any particular destination. The app also alerts drivers as they approach police, accidents, road hazards and traffic jams.

While the current iteration is reportedly filled with bugs that cause it to crash, Waze has a 4.5 star rating across all versions of the app. The CNET user score is slightly lower, but the level of reviewer praise seems to be just as extreme.

"Waze is definitely the best navigation on the App Store to date," one user wrote in July. "It gives turn by turn directions and tells you where cops are or where there is a large amount of traffic. AND IT'S FREE!!!!"

Numerous reports have claimed that Apple already licenses some of Waze's technology, but neither company will confirm those rumors. Regardless, Waze CEO Noam Bardin did not hold back in telling Business Insider exactly what he thought of Apple's ill-fated Maps app.

"Apple went out and partnered with the weakest player," he said, referring to TomTom (OTC: TMOAF). "They're now coming out with the lowest, weakest data set and they're competing against Google, which has the highest data set."

Apple surprised the world when it ousted Google Maps (NASDAQ: GOOG) from iOS 6. The search engine giant recently released a new Google Maps app to rectify the situation. In the days after its released, more than 10 million people downloaded the app to iOS 6.

In addition to Waze, Apple is rumored to be interested in acquiring TomTom. With a market cap of more than $2 billion, TomTom would be considerably more expensive than Waze.

Follow me @LouisBedigianBZ

Posted-In: Apple Google Maps iOS 6 WazeNews Rumors M&A Tech Best of Benzinga

 

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