Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has, since the release of its latest operating system iOS 6, dealt with criticism of its homegrown mapping service. News today revealed that the rumored acquisition of the social mapping service Waze, will not happen. It has become clear today that there is no such deal in the works.
The rumors made sense to almost everybody who heard them. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) needed something to improve its mapping service, not just in features and accuracy, but in the minds of users. An acquisition followed by a release of a "New Apple Maps" would accomplish that much more fully than a series of bug fixes.
But alas, the deal is not based in reality. The original rumors that such an acquisition could happen came from TechCrunch yesterday. The website printed a second article today claiming that the deal was simply not going to happen. We ran an article yesterday based on the topic.
The lack of such a deal means that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:APL) is stuck with its current mapping service, at least for now. The company has been quietly fixing errors on the mapping service, but the reputation of the service has not recovered. The fiasco was probably the worst thing that happened to firm's reputation in years.
Waze works with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) on that mapping service. The firm supplies Apple with information for its mapping service. When Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) offered alternatives to its service back in September, Waze among the applications pointed to by the company.
Cnet reported that an Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) spokesperson told them that an acquisition deal was not happening and the two companies were not currently in talks at all. The rumor of acquisition was clearly untrue.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:APPL) will have to do something about its mapping service. There were very few retrospective's covering the firm's 2012 that ignored the company's mapping problems, and there are still blogs, updated regularly, that concentrate entirely on posting humorous pictures from the companies maps.
The mapping service is probably the most PR damaging product that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has released in years. Previous issues, like the iPhone 4 antennae problem, turned out to be greatly exaggerated. Mapping problems are so obvious that the cannot be denied. The company's many detractors can point to it as a clear example of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) failure.
There are also investors that wonder if the mapping fiasco demonstrates some of the worst characteristics of a post Steve Jobs Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). If the firm stops releasing products people want, there will be no company. There weren't many users who wanted Apple Maps.
The future of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) does not include Waze in any major capacity. Waze will no doubt continue to provide mapping information to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), but an acquisition is not likely any time soon. This is, it seems, the first major Apple rumor this year, and, setting the tone for the year head, there are no facts to back it up.