Apple Interested in Purchasing Social Turn-by-Turn Navigation Company Waze? [Updated]

MacRumors

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Citing "rumours flying around", TechCrunch reports that Apple appears to be investigating the possibility of acquiring Waze, the popular social turn-by-turn navigation company. Waze, which takes advantage of real-time info from users to help others keep up-to-date on the latest road and traffic conditions, is already a partner in Apple's new Maps app, and an acquisition could help Apple beef up its struggling mapping services.

The report suggests that an acquisition of Waze could be even more beneficial for Apple than a deal with Foursquare, which holds only a limited audience internationally.
Because Waze maps are built on the location of moving cars, it's far more accurate than check-in apps. Outside of Google's project to map cities with Streetview cars - something which has taken years to complete - and the real-world mapping undertaken by volunteers on the Open Streetmaps open source project, there has been little to match Waze's approach. Waze turned mapping into not only a game, but also a way for drivers to be social, reporting road obstacles, traffic and police traps. It is properly useful.

It would also cost Apple northwards of $500M+ to buy Foursquare (which has raised $71 million is known to be raising another round), and gain, what? The location of restaurants, bars and airports? Given Waze has raised $67 million, Apple could acquire far better mapping data and a real driving app.
Waze was one of the iOS apps featured by Apple as an alternative to its own Maps app for users looking for another solution while Apple continues enhancing its offering. The service has over 30 million users across iOS and Android, and has proven popular as a free alternative to other turn-by-turn navigation services.

Update: TechCrunch has updated its article to note that Apple is offering roughly $400 million plus $100 million in incentives for Waze, but Waze is said to be holding out for something closer to $750 million.

Article Link: Apple Interested in Purchasing Social Turn-by-Turn Navigation Company Waze? [Updated]
 

gpat

macrumors 6502a
Mar 1, 2011
932
1,171
Italy
Another free and open service to be destroyed and reshaped according to Apple's mentality? I hope not.
 

aristobrat

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2005
12,250
1,322
Yes, do it now! Waze is absolutely amazing.
I love Waze too. I like how it reroutes against traffic, and how you can view/report police and hazards. :D

I would love for Waze to integrate deeper into iOS, like Apple's Maps does. Especially the part where it shows the directions on the lock screen!
 

uStip

macrumors newbie
Feb 27, 2011
11
0
Latvia
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.... because that probably means they will kill this awesome app/service. You, bastards! :/
 

notabadname

macrumors 65816
Jan 4, 2010
1,323
353
Detroit Suburbs
Yes. I want to see Apple's Map App develop in parallel to Google's. I still prefer Apple's, due to integration with Siri and other iOS features, like my Address Book. I like Apple's turn-by-turn better personally. But Google gets the love for their transit/metro info. If Apple had that, my choice would be simple.
 

T2theJ1990

macrumors newbie
Jan 2, 2013
1
0
Not to mention that WAZE was developed by former Apple employees. So they already know the Apple way, I think they should buy them, but keep a free app on Android, And make one for Windows.
 

bencjedi

macrumors 6502
Apr 2, 2010
271
20
I've been using WAZE from the beginning of the very first app and wouldn't mind the change as long as my prestige\rank is maintained. I put a lot of gas into this app having paved paths missing in the app all over Central Kentucky.
 

Julien

macrumors G4
Jun 30, 2007
11,162
3,889
Atlanta
Since Waze gets over 1/2 of it's data from Android phones how would this play for Apple? Also the App has a VERY un-Apple like interface, plus Police location which Apple couldn't support.
 

Baumi

macrumors regular
Mar 31, 2005
187
221
I don't like the idea. Yes, better access to Waze's data would be a good thing for Apple, but the reason for the success of Waze lies in its de-centralized, community-driven approach – something that's just the opposite of The Apple Way(tm). If Apple sought to buy and control Waze, it'd most likely try and make it conform to Cupertino corporate culture, destroying the very thing that made Waze successful.

What would make sense is an exclusive deal: Waze would remain independent and still be allowed to use its data for its own applications on whatever platform they desire, but they wouldn't be allowed to sell their data to anyone besides Apple. That way, Waze could continue to do its own thing, Waze users would still be happy, and Android and Windows Phone owners using the Waze app would be helping to make Apple's maps better instead of contributing to Google's or Microsoft's datasets.
 

ejl10

macrumors member
Jul 7, 2005
77
0
Boston, MA
much like what google did to sparrow, snapseed...etc right?
Great point - I've been hopeful that Google would take a look at Waze for a while to bring social reporting into Google Maps (which would make them nearly perfect), but with Google's acquisition track record that might just mean another good idea put out to pasture. Still, if Apple locked Waze out of non-iOS devices it would become a whole lot less useful.
 

D.T.

macrumors G3
Sep 15, 2011
9,191
7,167
Vilano Beach, FL
Waze is pretty outstanding, heck, it's actually _fun_.

Last year headed into the 24 Hours of Daytona there must have been like 50 Waze users within 1/2 mile of us in the line to get in, first time I noticed that density of users.

Not to mention that WAZE was developed by former Apple employees.
I wasn't aware of that, thanks. :cool:
 

ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
8,575
4,005
Not to mention that WAZE was developed by former Apple employees. So they already know the Apple way, I think they should buy them, but keep a free app on Android, And make one for Windows.
I can understand allowing it to stay on Android, as that would give Apple a huge base of users to report incidents and improve the experience for iOS users, but Windows?

If you're talking about Windows Mobile, last I checked they had a marketshare of around 3% compared to iOS and Android's combined 95%. If you're talking about PCs, I don't see the value... most of the time the users wouldn't be in a position to report anything of interest.

I'm not a current WAZE user, but if Apple integrates them in iOS 7 to improve traffic condition report stuff, I'd love it... whenever there's a slowdown on the highway, I'd really like to know the reason... if there's a 10 car pile up blocking every lane, I want to know - I'm going to drive in the shoulder and get off at the next exit and take surface streets, that kind of accident is going to take 1-3 hours to clean up. If there's a crash off to the side of the road causing rubbernecking, it won't delay me for long and it's not worth it to take unfamiliar surface streets.
 

xdext3r

macrumors newbie
Jul 26, 2010
23
0
Waze

Started using Waze after the great Apple Maps Debacle and have never looked back.

Waze is awesome ... makes it fun to drive. Reporting accidents and speed traps ... getting routed around congestion as it happens, seeing other Waze users on the map ...

Plus the Waze maps and meta data are great up here in Canada (compared to Apple Maps which is STILL UNUSABLE in my area) ...
 

mdelvecchio

macrumors 68040
Sep 3, 2010
3,117
1,036
I hope not. I do not want Apple to ruin another good thing!
er, what good data source have they ruined? they switched their own maps app away from google-as-backend, they didnt ruin the google data source. therefore theres no reason to think the Waze backend would somehow deteriorate were apple to start subscribing to it in their maps app.

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Another free and open service to be destroyed and reshaped according to Apple's mentality? I hope not.
another? what was the other? i can think of the WebKit open project, and apple's changes to that were unarguably for the better -- so much so that major mobile vendors continue to use apple's WebKit.
 

shiftyroach

macrumors newbie
Jul 15, 2006
20
0
I much prefer the idea of Apple getting Foursquare's data. To me, the downside with Apple maps has been the utter lack of results when searching. Addresses and driving within the greater Toronto area have been just fine. Not saying don't improve that since it seems to be the pain point for many, but for points of interest (restaurants, stores, etc) nothing has been better than gMaps but Foursquare could easily topple that.