back to article Traffic app Waze 'turned down Apple's $400m, wants $750m' - report

After asking users to fix it, its own retail staff to fix it, and finally deciding to fix it in-house, Apple is looking to buy its way into maps dominance and is rumoured to be sniffing around Waze, a Israeli maps company that specialises in car journeys and live traffic information. Apple has offered $400m for the start-up …

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Waze ? for what ?

This information, if true, puzzles me. What Apple really needs at this point is good quality maps. This definitely isn't Waze's strongest point. Its maps are only barely usable in areas of high user density. No satellite views or reconstructed 3-D views either (well in the version I use at least). Just flat road maps.

Also there's a long way to go for Waze to match Apple's "it just works" religion. It's still kind of buggy.

Don't misconstrue me. I am a Waze user and and find this little app extremely useful and fun to use. I'm just wondering what Apple would find in this product they can't do in-house.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Waze ? for what ?

@Alain

Why buy a company when they can do the same software themselves? Patents, dear fellow. Patents... Apple wants the patent Waze has. QED

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Meh

A map app that offers incentives...

I need that like a hole in the head.

Sell it to Facebook, wait a year and watch how the new Facebook Map App will bombard you with ads

"Turn left and then stop off at Asda for a ready cooked chicken"

"Now turn right, on you left before the second left call into KFC for a healthy meal"

"Your destination won't be for another 120 miles, before you get there let us make a another suggestion...."

Nooooooooooo.

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Anonymous Coward

And the destination was only 100 yards from where you actually started.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Waze ? for what ?

I suspect you're right about the patents but this is so obvious that I can't imagine the patent standing even in Texas. At least three people have suggested to me the idea of an app that is left open and reports back traffic to a central system which then feeds back to the app. I suggested it to someone as a way of getting up to date train delay news (although that had some problems as an idea). Anyway, even non-technical users can see how to make this work so a patent would be absurd, as would paying $400m for it.

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Re: Apple wants the patent Waze has

Or at the very least, they don't want Samsung to have it.

Remember, under the US system, "creating patents that might be harmful in the hands of a malicious enemy of your chosen target" is a business model for a little company.

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Re: Waze ? for what ?

your feedback loop comment is exactly how my tomtom satnav (825 GO) works with its onboard SIM card. its a neat feature but here in east anglia theres not a huge choice of routes i can take to avoid any problems.

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Happy

You actually use 19th avenue to get to the GG bridge?

You are a fool. The better way is to go down Brotherhood way (the interchange at the beginning of the route) and take Sunset. Much quicker and avoids all the 19th Ave. traffic!

The bigger problem is that SF doesn't like freeways, but I'll leave the more lengthy comments on that for another day.

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Re: You actually use 19th avenue to get to the GG bridge?

SF had freeways. They ruined the city and threatened to fall down in an earthquake (see the Oakland freeway circa 1989), thus were torn down in the early '90s.

The real problem is all the people who think that living in Marin and working in Palo Alto is a good plan. Note, those are the same people who fought against extending BART to Marin because it would bring 'undesirable people' over the bridge.....

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Trollface

Re: You actually use 19th avenue to get to the GG bridge?

No, the real problem is people who think that when they want to travel from A to B everybody else should just get out their way, and that when rights come into conflict theirs should always have precedence.

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Coat

Re: You actually use 19th avenue to get to the GG bridge?

Yes, but there aren't as many advertisers on the route you mention! :-P

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Re: You actually use 19th avenue to get to the GG bridge?

Absolutely! One of my Korean friends INSISTED on using the map app to get to my place, and every time it caused him delays. I too told him to take Sunset Avenue, and it took him maybe the 5th or 6th visit to finally get it right. Whoever puts in 19th Ave for any destination along 19th ave or GG Bridge for a drive that is before 1AM needs to be kneecapped literally and figuratively.

OTOH, Sunset Blv is prone to having occasional crashes, and these are by no means "mere accidents". I saw a totally smashed-up Honda, and the younger driver and his passenger probably will regret that event all their lives. And, it was mid-day. IIRC, I have seen at least several more, and it. May be due to the easy-speeding temptation.

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I think asking Apple to pay 53% more than what the company is actually worth is appropriate.

After all, Apple charges their customers unreasonable amounts as well.

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MrT
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I wonder if...

...KPMG will be doing the due diligence checks...?

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The 2013 Yahoo award

Only the start of the year, but these guys have a clear lead in this year's Yahoo Award.

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They were already offering 400 times annual revenue.

Unless they have some excellent fixed assets it was probably a bargain... but then again, the extra $350m is loose change for Apple.

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Stop

Apple wants to horn in on my navigation app--no Waze!!!

OK, lousy pun there, but please, please, please keep Apple's grubby mitts off of my working and non-annoying app!

(And I agree w/ Herby about using Sunset instead of 19th Avenue, and that the root of the problem is that San Fran wants to be a major city in the middle of one of America's biggest population centers while at the same time not having freeways cutting across town.)

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Anonymous Coward

Does this make anybody else think of PacMan?

Oh joy. Now you will see the kiddies setting themselves up as Inky, Pinky, Blinky, Clyde, and PacMan, and playing for "real" on the streets.

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$400m sounds generous for a company that made just $1m revenues - of course Apple could just buy someone else or do the same in-house. Think if I were Waze I would have sold.

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Re: $400m sounds generous

Generous is an understatement. If Apple are to make a profit on the deal (and last I heard they were still a commercial outfit rather than a bonkers religion on a mission from God) then they will have to make that much *plus* all subsequent development costs, *plus* whatever interest and opportunity costs are incurred by spending this sum now and on this rather than later or on something else profit-bearing.

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TomTom

Wouldn't it make more sense for Apple just to buy TomTom ? I am sure that the patents cover a lot more than just the IP.

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Anonymous Coward

Waze still has a ways to go...

Don't get me wrong, I like Waze, but it can’t yet compete with a true GPS. As noted in the article it doesn’t know where everything is, but a larger problem, and slightly hinted at in coments about the directions being given in SF is that it doesn’t always give you the best route to a destination. I learned this the hard way when we followed Waze by being lazy about turning the Garmin GPS back on. The end result was it took us almost 2 hours longer to get to our destination on dark windy roads instead of keeping us on the highway we were already on. This was verified by turning them both on after arriving so much later than expected after a WTF moment, and looking at the routes Waze vs the GPS plotted. Lesson learned. We still use Waze for traffic and the “fun” factor, but let the GPS tell us how to get there.

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Re: doesn’t always give you the best route to a destination

Neither does my satnav, it always insists on taking me through Muswell Hill to the North Circular when there's a much quicker back route I use (while ignoring the device's pleas to turn around when possible).

Maybe I have an old one - what I'd really like is one that can learn your favourite routes/cut-throughs where appropriate and guide you the rest of the way from there.

The TomTom's great when you really don't know where you're going but it is always beaten by local knowledge, and has got me lost several times into the bargain anyway.

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Re: doesn’t always give you the best route to a destination

I'd welcome any satnav that could show a route bypassing the Hanger Lane Gyratory/Ealing Common clusterfuck going south on the N. Circ toward Kew Bridge/A3.

And yes I know about cutting through Harlesden, Wood Lane to Shepherds Bush/Putney.... No dice son.

Not that I'm being specific....

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Anonymous Coward

Waze for Wazzocks?

Apple have really gone downhill, just buying up technology left right and centre now. Too much money and not enough people actually creating stuff.

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Why re-invent the wheel? If the work is already half done by someone else what's wrong with buying them up? It's what businesses do.

Also, as has already been pointed out here, there's the question of <spit> patents.

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Paolo Alto ?

Must be the Spanish counterpart to Palo Alto ...

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Happy

You mean "tall Paul" instead of "tall tree"?

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Do not want

all that crap when I'm trying to drive, also don't want people around me playing with that when they should be watching where they are going.

Also... incentivise - 1 zillion points.

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Re: Do not want

Mobile phone mapping is not just for cars. If you're old enough you may remember city A-Z books being on sale and being quite popular. These days when people exit a tube station they get out the mobile phone instead.

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Anonymous Coward

insanity

What a wonderful way to make more money from peoples location data, ironic that people will pay to give their own information away. No wonder these technology companies are making so much money when the consumer is clearly brain dead.

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Anonymous Coward

"Waze also incorporates funky social location facilities in its Android and iOS apps"...

Of course it does. Doesn't everything now? Sigh.

'Im on a road driving, literally like going somewhere!'

'Yeah me too but a different road in a different car'

'How cool is that lol!'

'Yeah we are so social'

'Like me like me like me like me like me like me'

...continue until one of them crashes.

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Facepalm

Re: "Waze also incorporates funky social location facilities in its Android and iOS apps"...

Hello Mr Sleeze, you and Ms Slut have both visited Dodgy Motel 5 times this month. Like?

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Black Helicopters

The paranoid in me doesn't like this

"Users don't need to actively upload data to contribute to Waze's traffic information service, simply driving along with the app open sends off data about traffic speeds and jam locations."

It also sends your position data to a company that could well be a Mossad's front-end. The same could be true about any mapping company, but given Israel's previous record on this kind of behaviour...

Now, you can downvote me all you want, but IMHO, generally speaking, sacrificing your privacy to a maps app doesn't feel like a smart move. Yeah, I know, everybody and their dog is doing just that.

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Black Helicopters

Re: The paranoid in me doesn't like this

That Hamas leader who was assassinated in Gaza in November had apparently been out canvassing. I wonder what sort of phone he had and whether he was using it at the time. Missile guidance doesn't need to be very sophisticated if your target is helpfully carrying a personally-identifiable GPS-enabled wireless tracking device.

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