The rumorsphere is alight with speculation that Apple is in advanced acquisition talks with Waze, with sources saying that Apple is trying to talk the company’s price down to somewhere in the half-billion dollar range. Apple already uses Waze as a data partner with its monumentally flawed Maps application. Waze is unique in that it provides social traffic data gathered from drivers.
Initially, the rumors stated simply that Apple was in talks with Waze, with neither company offering any comment on the claims. Soon after, however, a new source appeared stating that negotiations are revolving around price, with Waze asking for $750 million, and Apple trying to talk it down to $400 million with an addition $100 million in incentives. Waze’s revenue primarily comes via advertisements, and fell short of the $1 million mark last year.
One of Waze’s biggest advantages is that the data is gathered via actual vehicles navigating the roads. Thus far, Apple Maps has proven to be a large failure, with the platform sending drivers to incorrect locations, including bodies of water and the sides of buildings. In its worst mistake to date, the system was sending drivers into the middle of a desert-like national park, stranding them in conditions that can be fatal.
The fiasco was compounded by the elimination of Google Maps from iOS 6, something that has since been remedied by the release of the Google Maps for iOS app in late 2012. For now, the negotiation remain in the realm of speculation, but the move wouldn’t be surprising. Given the details that have surfaced, however, the back and forth between Apple and Waze might not come to an end any time soon.
Update: New sources “close to the situation” have stepped up to say that the deal is not taking place, though information beyond that is scant. Were Waze and Apple ever in talks? Nobody knows. With neither company willing to comment on the speculation, this one gets filed away into the Rumors folder.