Earlier this week reports came out stating that Apple would be working on completely re-doing their Maps application due to multiple issues with the app since it was released with iOS 6. Since Apple is not the type of company to frequently purchase other businesses, the potential acquisition of HopStop could provide a glimpse of how Apple wants to move forward with their iOS navigation offerings.
HopStop is an online service which currently provides directions for around 140 metropolitan areas throughout the US and in six other countries. Apple appears to be following Google’s decision to purchase Waze Inc in order to beef up its navigation offerings. By acquiring HopStop, Apple would be following in Google’s footsteps.
Since Google has had the advantage of working on their Maps application since 2005, Apple is definitely behind, and purchasing a well-established navigation service could boost them forward. The iOS 6 Maps application which was supposed to replace Google Maps was a complete failure, with tons of insane stories coming out regarding the messed up directions that the app was providing.
iOS 7 looks promising for multiple reasons but without a doubt, these new Maps upgrades–partly thanks to this potential acquisition–will play a big role in helping iOS gain market share. Apple has already tried to quickly put together their own developer teams to fix the Maps application, but up to this point they have been unable to remove all of the issues with it.
This has led to App Store applications becoming more popular on iOS and even though one of the most popular, Waze, is already owned by Google, HopStop is currently in the #7 spot and an Apple buyout could be beneficial.
Apple has yet to release any statement regarding the potential acquisition.