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Is Apple's Acquisition Of Coherent Navigation A Step Toward Ending Google Maps Dominance?

Byline: J.D. Singh

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) recently acquired GPS startup Coherent Navigation. As is a tradition with the company, Apple hasn't revealed the purchase price or the size of this deal.

Tom's Guide Associate Editor Mike Andronico was on CNBC Monday to explain why Apple needed to go for this acquisition and if it can challenge Google Inc (NASDAQ: GOOGL)(NASDAQ: GOOG)'s Google Maps.

The Need

"Apple Maps is getting better and better, especially improved in iOS 8," Andronico said. "But there are still lots of things that people prefer with Google Maps.

Related Link: Apple's Car Could Be At Least 10 Years Away

"Google Maps in general has better overall accuracy and Apple Maps still doesn't have a way to really navigate in terms of public transportation. Instead, Apple Maps kind of points you to other public transit apps instead of telling you where to go on its own."

Challenger To Google Maps

Andronico was asked if, with all these acquisitions, Apple is trying to challenge Google's dominance in the map space. He replied, "I think all these acquisitions are an attempt to beef up the maps app and make it stand tall to Google Maps and possibly surpass it."

He continued, "As far as this recent acquisition with Coherent, that's a GPS startup. So, that means that Apple can use that technology to make its overall direction better and it can actually integrate with the cars that Apple is reportedly building.

"So, there's a lot that Apple can work with in terms of having better GPS technology, and there are also recent acquisitions such as HopStop and Embark that specialize in public transit.

"So, I think the next Apple Maps is going to have really, really rich public transit directions and that will make it really easy to get by if you don't have a car," Andronico concluded.

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Author:J.D. Singh
Date:May 18, 2015
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