Apple To Buy Map Maker TomTom?

By Sumit Passary | Dec 13, 2012 10:03 AM EST

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Rumors suggest that Apple may take over Dutch-based navigation system provider TomTom in a bid to fix its mapping app, which has caused a lot of furore since its launch with iOS 6 in September this year.

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According to Hans Slob, an analyst at Rabobank International, a 30 percent chance exists that Apple may pay $13 for one TomTom share. This deal will mean a lot of money for the Dutch company, but for a company like Apple it may not amount to a lot monetarily. However, Apple will hope that with the takeover, the company will be able to sort out the highly criticized mapping app.

"TomTom needs the cash from Apple, and Apple needs the know-how of TomTom," said Slob.

Apple launched its iPhone 5 on Sept. 12, which packed the latest iOS 6. Google Maps have been a standard feature on the iPhone since it debuted in 2007; however, Apple decided to discontinue Google Maps and introduce its own mapping service in the iOS 6.

Since the launch of iOS 6, users have reported problems with the new maps app which lacks detailing and omits public transit directions. Moreover, Apple's highly-touted 3D flyover feature has also received criticism as the feature displayed comically distorted images that look like major landmarks, and some structures even appeared to have been destroyed.

TomTom already supplies mapping data to Apple; however, post a takeover, Apple will have access to even more data from TomTom and address the criticisms which the Cupertino-based company has faced owing to its mapping apps issues.

If the takeover is successful for Apple, then iOS 6 users will hope that the company's mapping app will soon be fixed. However, along with the fix, Apple may also implement new navigation features to devices running on iOS 6 or further.

We will have to wait and see if the takeover rumors are true and if it happens, how quickly Apple will be able to put an end to its mapping criticisms. 

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