Friday, October 2, 2009

Apple Maps? New Geo Team Position.

The CEO of Placebase now has a new credit to his online profile: member of the Geo Team at Apple. Apple has been quiet about its July purchase of Placebase, but PlaceBase's customers noticed.

Apparently, Apple wants to offer maps layered with various kinds of data -- maybe even customer-collected data not to be shared with third parties. The idea that businesses could subscribe to a service to make sure their information is current in the map app is interesting; Mercedes' in-car map system has such woefully out-of-date restaurant data that it is virtually useless. Apple could potentially leverage its well-known brand to attract deliberate registrations. On the other hand, Apple could use sources like telephone books to generate data accurate at least as of recent printings. Commercial application is obvious: Placebase had millions in revenue and was profitable before Apple's acquisition.

Apple's software acquisitions aren't accidents, but strategic efforts to improve competitive position. Placebase means something to Apple.

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