Apple may buy sat-nav smartphone app Waze

3 Jan 2013

Screenshots of the Waze app for iPhone

Consumer tech giant Apple has its eye on acquiring sat-nav smartphone app Waze for several million dollars, if rumours are to be believed.

TechCrunch reported sources as having said talks are well under way between the two companies, with Waze seeking US$750m and Apple willing to shell out US$400m, plus US$100m in incentives.

Waze, already a partner for Apple’s Maps app, has been experiencing growth internationally, particularly in places where Maps are problematic, TechCrunch reported. The app’s maps are built on the location of moving vehicles, thus making it more accurate than check-in apps.

Waze also uses real-time information from users to update road and traffic conditions.

Should this acquisition go through, it could help Apple strengthen its map services, in the wake of its own Maps app debacle that led CEO Tim Cook to issue an apology to users.

Users of Apple Maps, packaged with iOS 6, had reported a number of faults, including buildings with the wrong name (sometimes outdated), locations marked far from where they actually are, and being misdirected by the turn-by-turn navigation feature.

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic