Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has apparently lost senior engineer Chris Blumenberg, one of the first engineers to work on the company’s buggy Maps app. Transportation locating service Uber has apparently wooed him away from the consumer electronics giant, reports The Information, which cites three unnamed sources who are aware of the move.
Blumenberg’s career at Apple
Apple Maps debuted in 2012 with the launch of iOS 6. The app was so buggy that the launch was disastrous, earning numerous complaints and sending users running back to the safe arms of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG). In a rare move, Apple actually apologized for the disaster.
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Business Insider reports that Blumenberg is listed as one of the inventors on numerous patent applications filed by Apple. Former iOS head Scott Forstall’s name appears alongside his on many of them. Forstall left Apple amid the storm of controversy surrounding Apple Maps. Blumenberg has yet to change his profiles on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) or Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) to reflect the rumored move.
Apple’s Maps segment has been plagued with internal politics issues for some time. Blumenberg has headed up the Maps segment for the last six years, managing at least 40 workers for the segment. He has also been credited with creating an iOS version of Maps in just a few weeks in 2006 so that then-CEO Steve Jobs could show it off at the January 2007 iPhone unveiling.
What Blumenberg could do for Uber
The move from Apple to Uber makes sense, as the company uses a high-tech routing system to track users’ locations and hook them up with transportation, whether it’s a taxi or ride-share. Recent estimates for Uber’s value place it at $18.2 billion, and it’s right on the cusp of becoming huge.
Attracting top talent like Blumenberg certainly says something about the ride-sharing company. Assuming that he’s on board at Uber, it’s also worth questioning what the company is planning to do next. It could be planning to further enhance its technology with even better maps and geo-targeting capabilities. In addition, Uber could be looking at expanding into more markets. Another possibility is that Uber is planning on rolling out its own maps product to complement its ride-sharing services.