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Apple Pie In The Sky?


Article by: maft
Date: 27 Apr 2011

pocketgpsworld.com
Apple have issued a statement about the 'location tracking' but TapMag (among others) have pulled out, and extrapolated on, one particular interesting piece of information:

Apple is now collecting anonymous traffic data to build a crowd-sourced traffic database with the goal of providing iPhone users an improved traffic service in the next couple of years.

The question is, what does it mean? Without any hard and fast information it is open to a lot of artistic license. 'Traffic' could mean 'mobile/wifi data' or 'cars, trucks etc'.

Are Apple developing a navigation app to rival Google's own on the Android platform? Are they trying to rely less on Google for their default Maps app (which features a traffic overlay)? Or are they referring to 'traffic' in the sense of mobile data in a bid to get the Mobile Operators to improve their data traffic in key locations?

In the absence of any hard and fast facts it could all be Apple Pie In The Sky. Feel free to discuss and let us know your thoughts on the whole thing.

Comments
Posted by jsamuelson on Wed Apr 27, 2011 3:48 pm Reply with quote

As I said on Twitter, I think an Apple nav app is inevitable! Fun to speculate on who they might tie up with or acquire.

I don't think partnerships are really Apple's style…I'm pretty convinced the app, and overlays eg traffic etc will be value-adds from inside Apple, and then other than Google there are only two candidates for global map data, TomTom or Navteq.

TomTom and Apple have had a fairly cosy relationship in the past...

For me, the ultimate would be Apple simply acquiring TomTom outright!

I think this also all probably connects neatly with Apple's location-based social networking that's been rumoured, and their acquisition of Placebase (overlays) and Poly9 (3D mapping), and maybe Siri (voice commands).


 
Posted by Darren on Wed Apr 27, 2011 4:29 pm Reply with quote

It's all very interesting and speculating is always fun.

It seems quite clear why Apple would want to offer their own nav solution but how they would achieve it is another. Navteq is a no-no whilst Nokia won the business so that does seem to leave TomTom as the only remaining player with map content that would fit Apple's needs.

But TomTom isn't just about the map data and they'd make a very expensive purchase for that alone. I can't see Apple wanting TomTom's hardware business.

I'd love to be a fly on the wall but I'd also love to see what Apple could come up with the in field of Navigation.


Darren Griffin - Editor

 
Posted by MaFt on Wed Apr 27, 2011 4:40 pm Reply with quote

ah, but the iPhone already has voice recognition (press and hold the home button on 3GS or 4) so getting hold of Siri could simply be to improve that.

i'm determined to play devil's advocate here!

MaFt


MaFt®

 
Posted by MaFt on Wed Apr 27, 2011 4:42 pm Reply with quote

Darren Wrote:
Navteq is a no-no whilst Nokia won the business

but would Nokia REALLY give up that much potential income from licensing just because it's apple? I thought when they bought navteq they said they would both be run as different companies. garmin's nuvifone was a competitor to nokia but they still got to use navteq maps...

MaFt


MaFt®

 
Posted by Darren on Wed Apr 27, 2011 4:49 pm Reply with quote

MaFt Wrote:
but would Nokia REALLY give up that much potential income from licensing just because it's apple?

I'm not suggesting they'd turn down the opportunity to licence Navteq map data, more that Apple would not consider choosing to do business with them.

But that may be a little short sighted of me, after all, Apple buy parts from Samsung who are a direct competitor and also, presently, a litigant so they may well do.

But then where do Apple draw a line on who is and isn't a potential partner or competitor and do they really want to replace Google?


Darren Griffin - Editor

 
Posted by jsamuelson on Wed Apr 27, 2011 6:12 pm Reply with quote

Sometimes I dont think TomTom wants TomTom's hardware business!!

The iPhone's voice recognition is very limited…Siri once Cupertino'd is going to be awesome.

Let's not forget the astronomical amount of cash Apple is sitting on. They could swallow TomTom whole. But I do agree, it's a huge acquisition and probably unlikely.


 
Posted by PedroStephano on Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:46 pm Reply with quote

For Apple to build a satnav (like Darren I think it's inevitable) they'd need a better map than Google and I think that the extra baggage they would get with the hardware of TomTom means that might be unlikely unless they break it all up afterwards. And also you need a mechanism whereby a bunch of enthusiastic users contribute to the map data. TomTom does it but I think they are not very social-media friendly in the way they "take" without "giving back" - yes a perception of mine but it's all about perception innit?
Their HD traffic works and it must be based on individual users feedback as http://twitpic.com/4q6vpi shows my trip home tonight - this is a B road with no Trafficmaster detectors, so it must be TT units that provide speed/jam data. TT can do it - the real traffic. Who else?

Enter Waze. They've been working hard and gaining lots of users, who all update their maps all the time. Their SM model works. They have real time traffic which at the moment is poor because of low numbers in the UK. Apple could explode those numbers overnight.


iOS rokcs (but my typing - well....)
@PedroStephano

 
Posted by MaFt on Wed Apr 27, 2011 10:21 pm Reply with quote

PedroStephano Wrote:
Their HD traffic works and it must be based on individual users feedback as http://twitpic.com/4q6vpi shows my trip home tonight - this is a B road with no Trafficmaster detectors, so it must be TT units that provide speed/jam data.


Well, they get that from Vodafone users. Apple would, one assumes, simply use all iPhones (regardless of carrier).

MaFt


MaFt®

 
Posted by PedroStephano on Wed Apr 27, 2011 10:47 pm Reply with quote

@MaFt Vodafone? Didn't know that - thanks - makes sense now :-)


iOS rokcs (but my typing - well....)
@PedroStephano

 
Posted by MaFt on Wed Apr 27, 2011 11:21 pm Reply with quote

PedroStephano Wrote:
@MaFt Vodafone? Didn't know that - thanks - makes sense now :-)


http://www.pocketgpsworld.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=56884


MaFt®

 
Posted by PedroStephano on Wed Apr 27, 2011 11:31 pm Reply with quote

Thanks @maft - if I read that in 2007 then I've forgotten sorry, but I would add that it's apparent from my recent experience with TTapp and HDt that all roads are covered now. Jams on side roads are now displayed. Game has been lifted since 2007 of course.


iOS rokcs (but my typing - well....)
@PedroStephano

 
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