Apple Could Acquire Navigation Partner TomTom To Fix Maps [Analyst]


TomTom powers Apple's turn-by-turn navigation in iOS 6.
TomTom powers Apple's turn-by-turn navigation in iOS 6.

When Apple decided to give Google Maps the boot and deliver its own Maps app for iOS 6, it teamed up with TomTom to provide users with turn-by-turn navigation on their iOS devices for the first time. Now it seems the Cupertino company may be looking to acquire its new navigation partner in an effort to fix Maps.

Hans Slob, an Utrecht, Netherlands-based analyst at Rabobank, believes there’s a 30% chance Apple will acquire TomTom. It is reportedly interested in the Dutch company’s capacity to make prompt changes to correct mapping errors.

“TomTom needs the cash from Apple, and Apple needs the know-how of TomTom,” said Slob, who believes Apple may pay up to €10 per share for the company. Slob says the takeover is a “royal way out” for Apple, which could use TomTom’s expertise to quickly fix errors and create new features for its Maps service.

Apple has been under great pressure to fix Maps since the service made its debut with iOS 6 back in September. While it does add new features to the company’s mobile platform, it does so at the expense of Google’s highly accurate mapping data. Apple’s is widely considered half-baked in comparison.

Shares in TomTom climbed as much as 7.2% to €4.12 following Slob’s report today — that’s the highest they’ve been since October 19.

Source: Bloomberg