Apple seems to prefer home grown vs. store bought. Historically, the company hasn’t spent a large amount of money to buy technology companies the way Adobe bought Macromedia, or Microsoft bought Skype, or Google bought Motorola.
Instead, Apple’s purchases through the years have been smaller both in number and amount, yet have been highly tactical elements to the company’s overall strategy. A few good examples include the purchase of Final Cut, Logic, P.A. Semi, and others.
The word on the streets is that Google wants to buy Waze, a mashup of social network, traffic monitor, and navigation app for the iPhone (and other devices) and might be willing to pay up to $1-billion for the privilege. If so, let’s hope it turns out as a better purchase than Motorola.
There’s no reason Apple could not afford Waze, and plenty of reasons why Apple needs Waze. If you’ve tried Waze, and you live in a metro area with other Waze users, then you know the value already. If you’ve never tried Waze, download it and go. It’s free.
What you get with Waze is free and real time traffic information from other Waze users. Waze works faster and better than either Google or Apple Maps traffic features. Yes, there’s turn-by-turn navigation, and user created traffic, mapping, and accident reports, all in real time.
Some industry watchers claim Waze may have as many as 30-million users. Compare that to Apple’s 200-million iPhone users. If Apple bought Waze, then all iPhone users could have the app and the user generated data would be even more accurate and useful (and stop development for Android and other competing devices). Otherwise, what’s to stop Apple from developing a similar app for iOS (which could probably be done for less than $1-billion and yet made available instantly to tens of millions of iPhone users).
Maybe Apple is playing a waiting game– waiting for Google to waste a billion dollars on Waze before Apple creates their own version which installs on more devices and has more features.
Patience, grasshopper. Patience.