Multiple sources have been cited in this report, claiming Apple is engaged in acquisition talks with Waze, a popular crowdsourced GPS app capable of providing turn-by-turn voice navigation. One pot hole in the road though is Waze's asking price of $750 million -- about $250 million more than Apple is willing to pay. Purportedly, Cupertino offered Waze $400 million up front with (up to) an additional $100 based on performance.
For anyone who's spent time searching for a no-strings attached GPS navigation app, chances are they've stumbled onto Waze. Currently, the app is freely available for both Android and iOS but it is unknown how such a deal would affect Waze and its users. Would it remain free? Would it remain available for Android? Would it even continue to exist?
Why would Apple considering buying Waze? The Mac-maker is most likely hoping to integrate Waze's features, superior International coverage and talent pool into its own mapping efforts. Since the ouster of Google from iOS Maps, critics have been vocal about the many issues plaguing Apple's own in-house map solution. Its problems were so apparent that Apple CEO Tim Cook felt he had to apologize; promising Maps would improve through future updates. Perhaps Waze is a strategic part of achieving that promise.
Although Apple's offer of $400 million plus up to $100 million falls substantially short of the company's supposed $750 million asking price, Waze only generated about $1 million in revenue last year.
For anyone looking for a free alternative to Apple's Maps on iOS, Waze and the recently released Google Maps are two very good options.