With Foursquare, Apple's Out to Kick Google's Maps
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- When Apple (AAPL) released its Maps app as part of iOS 6, it was a direct shot at Google (GOOG) . But due to the poor product, it never really stood a chance. Now, though, it looks like it may actually have a fighting shot.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple is in early talks with Foursquare, the location-sharing app, about a deal to integrate data from Foursquare into Apple's mapping app.
TheStreet's Eric Jackson noted that Apple executive Eddy Cue was using Foursquare's service, twice in two days. Jackson was paying attention to tweets from Cue, who doesn't tweet often. Cue, who took over Apple's Siri and Maps as part of a management shakeup, was in California one day, then New York the next, leading Jackson to speculate that something was up with regards to Apple and Foursquare.
When it comes to maps, Google is the 800-pound gorilla in the room, due to its widespread usage, accurate directions, and vast amounts of useful information and data. Apple had hoped to achieve similar status with its Apple Maps, but a slew of criticism and mistakes caused Apple to issue an apology, while it works on bettering the application.
Google Maps has had the benefit of years and years of usage, data, and information to make it the product it is today. Apple doesn't have the luxury of time, so joint ventures are a good way to compete. By doing more of these joint ventures and partnerships ( Urbanspoon, HopStop, perhaps), Apple will be able to better accumulate the data it needs.
Apple has integrated data from Yelp (YELP) and Open Table (OPEN) into Apple Maps. By adding Foursquare's local data into the app, it will only give Apple more ammunition as it seeks to make good on its promise to its mapping tool.
Consumers enjoy using Foursquare, checking into their favorite places, getting recommendations, writing a small review sometimes, and potentially earning rewards. But Foursquare has not been able to do much with this data when it comes to revenue generation. A potential deal with Apple could change that, while helping Apple grab the data and information it so desperately needs to make Apple Maps a much improved product.
Tackling and overcoming Google Maps won't be easy for Apple, but it sure won't be for lack of trying.
"Everything we do at Apple is aimed at making our products the best in the world. We know that you expect that from us, and we will keep working non-stop until Maps lives up to the same incredibly high standard," Cook wrote in the apology.