After supplying map data for Apple’s Maps application, TomTom is now rumoured (again) to be in line for a takeover by the American giant. Bloomberg has reported that TomTom’s shares have risen to their highest level in eight weeks after an analyst in Holland reported that there is a 30% chance that Apple may bid for a takeover.
It is too early to speculate on the cost of such a takeover, but there is no reason to believe that Apple does not have the money. Apple is currently the richest company in the world and Forbes also reports that it has more than $80 billion in bank accounts outside the U.S. – money that cannot be used on American soil without paying a hefty tax. If Apple were to spend some of this money, it would make sense to acquire an overseas company such as TomTom.
Apple’s purchase of TomTom would not be a major surprise - both developers and customers have found Apple Maps frustrating and highly inaccurate. Since the release of iOS 6 and as a consequence of the Maps app, Apple has sacked the head of software development and the head of the Maps project, while Apple CEO Tim Cook offered an apology to customers and advised them to use mapping solutions from rival companies such as Google and Nokia while Apple sorts out its Maps.
This news comes with a release of a brand new Google Maps application in Apple’s app store. Google seems to have jumped at the opportunity to not only return their familiar mapping application to iPhone and iPad users, but to also introduce new features such as voice guided turn by turn navigation and Street View which were previously only available on the Android version.
This app could present a win-win proposition for both companies – Google relies on its sheer number of users to keep its maps up to date and offer a wide advertising platform to its clients while Apple needs to maintain a high level of customer satisfaction in order to keep shipping the astronomical number of devices it currently does.
Source: Bloomberg, Forbes, Google