RUMOR: Apple to acquire Waze

“There can be no doubt that one of the hottest startups of the last couple of years has been social sat-nav smartphone app Waze,” Mike Butcher reports for TechCrunch. “Not surprising in an era when – largely due to Apple initially dumping Google Maps in iOS 6 – everyone woke up, as if from some slumber, about the importance of decent mobile maps.”

“So it comes as almost no surprise to us that there are rumours flying around that Apple is sniffing around Waze with a view to a possible acquisition,” Butcher reports. “After all, Waze is already a data partner for Apple’s Maps app and was the only app to gain meaningful marketshare after the Apple Maps fail.”

Butcher reports, “Waze’s international use has been growing because it is genuinely useful, especially in places where Maps remain a problem, such as in Asia and the Middle East. Because Waze maps are built on the location of moving cars, it’s far more accurate than check-in apps.”

Read more in the full article here.

18 Comments

  1. I used Waze last year in northern Virginia. It was good for highlighting traffic problems, but for anything else it sucked monkey nuts. It recommended routes that I knew were 20 – 30 miles out of the way. Waze claims to learn new routes as it is used, but after 6 months, it just didn’t learn at all. Couldn’t rely on it for anything except crappy traffic on I-95.

  2. A big waste of money Waze does noting Apple can’t do in six months, 200 million or 500 million for dubious software will not work, it would take six months just to audit Waze’s data- software not worth the time, Apple should roll up their sleeves and just take the year or two to get it right in house (wish I had a Geo degree).

    1. Apple can’t do everything “in house” and a “year or two” is too long for the kind of marked improvement a Waze acquisition would bring. I know know where you get the “dubious software” label from – the information is crowd-sourced from millions of Waze users and in my opinion works very well.

      Good companies make smart acquisitions. I don’t see Apple hiring up 5000 employees and investing years to mimic Google’s approach.

      1. Apple just needs to do the work, three months to buy Waze, six months to know what you have the year 2013 gone with no real improvement Waze is a waste of time and money.

        1. 1. I doubt you have the credentials to say how long it would take Apple to provide a mapping solution as robust (but not as elegant) as Google.
          2. Your notion that work on Apple’s maps would cease internally the day Waze was acquired is baffling. Regardless of whether or not the company is bought, of course Apple will continue to work on Maps.
          3. Your opinion of the company belies the fact that millions of people use Waze currently. And it’s not because it’s free.

          In short, you don’t know what you’re talking about. But I guess this is the internet.

  3. I’ve been testing GPS on my new iPad w/cellular, but I don’t have a data plan so absent on-board maps it’s been frustrating. That said, on a recent errand I took the iPad, switching when stopped between Apple’s own Maps, Google Maps, MotionX GPS Drive, and Waze. Of these, Waze’ maps had the best clarity and position accuracy, and even warned of upcoming traffic cameras and speed traps.

  4. I did a bit of recent traveling with a friend with Waze on her phone. Seemed like a powerful app but it has one of the least intuitive interfaces I have ever used – if Apple buys these guys, I hope they fix the GUI/workflow.

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