Apple might be looking to fix issues it had with it’s mapping service by acquiring Waze. A report by TechCrunch puts the negotiations for a deal that is between $400 – $700 million. Waze is an app that combines maps of streets and roads with the ability of users to give traffic updates about a particular route they are on. This makes the information on Waze very open and accurate. One could accurately describe it as a social network of drivers.
How Waze would help Apple Maps?
Apple is struggling on catching up with Google Maps. When the official Google Maps app was released for iPhones, it saw millions of downloads. It was pretty clear that iPhone users were waiting for Google Maps. The issue was so serious that at one point of time, Apple’s CEO Time Cook, even apologized for the maps disaster.
Waze would give Apple a quick fix. The data is crowd-sourced and more importantly with real-time updates. It is a great app for traffic updates. So Apple might get what is called a quick fix solution for now. The issue is Waze does not exactly have a lot of business listings like say Foursqure. So Apple will have to figure out a new way to get those business listings.
Apple’s struggles with its Maps app has actually brought to notice how much effort Google puts into collecting data for Google Maps. It has literally thousands of people working on Google maps with their Street view cars travelling through roads and collecting data. It also allows Google Map users to correct inaccurate information process. Though these corrections do have a review period but my personal experience suggested they are approved within a couple of days.
If Apple is indeed trying to buy itself out of the maps mess, it will be very unlike them. Apple is known for buckling down and working on some ingenious solution to problems.
Have you used Waze? Let us know your views in your comments.