Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) reportedly has plans to purchase Waze, a popular Israeli crowdsource and traffic navigation application. The social media giant is also rumored to bid $1 billion for the company. This report also has some people wondering if Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will join in and possibly outbid Facebook for this particular company.
Forbes’ Peter Cohan interviewed Waze’s chief executive officer Noam Bardin a few years ago and discovered something interesting. Waze originally started as one way for drivers to share their traffic observations via their smartphones. Bardin went further into detail, “Ehud Shabtai, a software engineer, was given a handheld device that came pre-installed with navigation software. Thrilled with the possibilities, he took it for a test drive and became quickly disappointed. The problem: The navigation software knew the roads well enough, but it wasn’t able to let him know, for example, if a certain road was under construction and not passable.”
Bardin also explained how Shabtai came up with ” a system that would be continuously updated by drivers themselves, giving everyone all the relevant and up-to-date information they need to decide which roads to drive on. No more turning on to closed streets or getting stuck in traffic.”
Apple Inc. (AAPL) In Talks With Waze
It would make a lot of sense if Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) decided to join in on the bidding. Just last year, the tech company tried to release their version of mobile maps to compete with Google Maps but ultimately failed. Earlier this year, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was reportedly in talks with Waze to purchase the company for $500 million. It was the kind of deal that would be ideal for the company that wants to incorporate their own mapping application on their smartphone and tablet.
Right now, Facebook and Waze are in serious talks as both companies signed the papers. The deal could still fall if Waze cannot convince Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) to keep their R&D facilities in Israel. Facebook will likely want to integrate Waze within their existing facilities overseas. This might present the perfect opportunity for Waze to reconsider Apple but if only the Cupertino-based company offers a higher bid.