At long last, Apple
One of the bigger challenges that I considered leading into the expected switch to an in-house maps service built off three different acquisitions over the past several years was how Apple would replace the backend data.
iOS head Scott Forstall covered some of this during the keynote, saying that Apple was building up a traffic service that would also include an element of anonymous crowdsourcing of real-time data from anonymous iPhone users. He also said the iPhone maker had "ingested" about 100 million local business listings around the world now.
Well, we now have some more detail on one of the larger pieces of the maps puzzle that Apple has assembled to displace Big G's valuable data: TomTom (OTC: TMOAF.PK).
That's right, the maker of the well-known handheld GPS devices is now partnering with a company whose iPhone is a major disruptive threat to its own offerings. TomTom has long had iOS apps, but this partnership takes it to a new level and is a big win for TomTom. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.
Source: Engadget. Emphasis added.
The company confirmed to Engadget that it has "signed a global agreement with Apple for maps and related information." In addition, you'll find fine print pointing to TomTom's data within the iOS 6 beta maps app.
Shares trade over the counter stateside and are very illiquid, so exercise extreme caution if you're considering a position, but they have skyrocketed by upwards of 17% in trading in Amsterdam, where TomTom is headquartered.
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