Apple Share Price: Tech Giant Said to Buy HotStop in Push into Maps

on Jul 22, 2013
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iNVEZZ.com, Monday, July 22: Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL), the world’s most valuable tech company, had agreed to buy online transit-navigation service HopStop.com Inc. in a bid to strengthen its push into Maps, Bloomberg reported on Saturday, citing unnamed sources.

The Cupertino-based company sharpened its focus on mapping software last September, when it removed Google Maps from its iOS devices, replacing it with proprietary software called Apple Maps. However, the product has proven to be ridden with errors, so Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) updated its Maps app for the latest version of the iPhone. Last week the Android maker released a major Maps update on iOS which added new features and enabled the app to be used natively on the iPad as well.

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But it seems that the earlier failure hasn’t discouraged Apple in its efforts to come up with its own mapping software. The iPhone maker is also buying Locationary Inc., a Toronto-based company focused on business-location maps, technology blog AllThingsD reported on Friday.
The Apple share price was up 0.21 percent at $425.84 in New York’s pre-market trading as of 11:56 BST. Its stock fell 1.58 percent to $424.95 at the close on Friday.

**Map wars**
The two companies Apple is reportedly buying are likely to help the iPhone maker strengthen its position in the intensifying competition in mapping software. Google is the undisputed leader in the space, with Google Maps the most popular free app in the App Store, but HopStop, which provides users in more than 500 cities with information about the fastest way to travel by foot, bike, subway and car, has also become very popular; the app ranks No. 7 among free navigation tools in the App Store. Locationary deploys real-time data from a variety of sources to help users find featured businesses.

!m[iPhone Maker Gearing Up for the Map Race](/uploads/story/4203/thumbs/pic1_inline.jpg)
Mapping software is important for tech companies, because of its ability to act as an advertising platform that displays businesses and points of interest relevant to the users’ location. Furthermore, since these products are primarily used on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, they are an effective way of boosting users’ engagement on a particular mobile platform.

Google has a lot of experience in the area having developed mapping software since 2005. As mentioned, the company dominates the segment, constantly making improvements to its flagship mapping product – Google Maps. In recent months, however, an increasing number of rivals have been seen to be looking to challenge Google’s dominance. In May, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), the operator of the world’s most popular operating system, reportedly held talks to buy Waze Inc, an Israeli map-software provider, for about $1 billion. The start-up, which wields a global user base of about 50 million users, ended up being acquired by Google for about $1.1 billion in June.
**The Apple share price (pre-market) was $426.16 as of 13.38 BST, 22.07.2013**
**The Google share price (pre-market) was $898. as of 13.38 BST, 22.07.2013**

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