Who hates iPhone Maps? It’s worked great for me, but happy users don’t make for good headlines. That said, when Cupertino passes gas, bloggers declare that Apple is in the final throes of stage 4 colon cancer and iPhone Maps has been a real stinker, indeed.

According to TechCrunch, Apple wants to buy Waze, the GPS-based social mapping service. In addition to the fact that the company’s much maligned iPhone Maps needs work — specifically, local discovery — Apple and Waze have history.

After all, Waze is already a data partner for Apple’s Maps app and was the only app to gain meaningful marketshare after the Apple Maps fail — TechCrunch

And, hey, Waze is very much about local discovery — i.e. restaurant specials, attractions, cheap gas, speed traps, etc. The excellent bit about this app is that it’s based on GPS location, which could feed real-world road data into Apple’s deficient databases.

However, the fly in the ointment is that Apple wants to pay $400 million + 100 million in incentives, while Waze is holding out for $750 million. Can you blame them?

Apple is also thought to be courting Foursquare, a user check-in app that offers local discovery + shopping.

iPhone Maps: Problems are as problems do

If Apple can land both Waze and Foursquare — and integrate the data and services — iPhone Maps could quickly leapfrog the competition. Moreover, there are also obvious tie ins with iOS 6’s Passbook feature, a segment where Apple is already the leader.

iPhone Maps on my family’s iPhone and iPads has been 100 percent. In fact, I suspect that a muted majority of users feel the same way. But, again, happy users don’t make for good headlines.

So, is Apple pursuing Waze and/or Foursquare in order to “fix” iPhone Maps? Perhaps, but it seems much more likely that Cupertino is seeking to checkmate rather than merely match the competition…

What’s your take?