Apple should buy social nav app Waze to improve Maps data


When it comes to apps, nothing strikes a nerve more than mapping. We saw this when Apple Maps literally and figuratively drove off a cliff, only later to be saved by Google Maps. Needless to say, having Apple’s fat pulled out of the fire by its chief rival didn’t make execs in Cupertino too happy.

That’s the backstory behind the latest mapping rumor afloat: the potential acquisition by Apple of social navigation app Waze. According to reports, Apple is in fact considering purchasing Waze.

Their iPhone app crowdsources the positions of moving cars to turn the mundane task of finding locations into a social game. Waze, already a partner with Apple Maps, has likely gained the iPhone maker’s attention when iOS 6 Maps was going down in flames…

Update: TechCrunch’s MG Siegler says there’s no deal in sight.

Techcrunch points out that buying Waze makes much more sense then a recent rumor about Apple buying Foursquare, the check-in app popular mostly in the US. While it would cost more than $500 million to snap-up Foursquare, with Waze “Apple could acquire far better mapping data and a real driving app”, according to the site.

Not surprisingly, both Apple and Waze refused to comment on the rumor. The Israeli media is also joining in on the speculation. No matter how you look at this story, it does appear, as rumors go, that talk of an Apple buyout of Waze makes more sense than the Foursquare talk.

Where speculation that Apple would purchase Foursquare was launched by a single Twitter message, rumors about Waze include the fact that Apple already has some connection with the app maker.

Either way, to prevent Google Maps from overwhelming Apple’s foray into mapping, the company will need to acquire more talent. A certain method for accomplishing that would be buying a navigation, already popular with users.

What do you think?

Does this rumor have a good chance of being based in fact?