WiFislam Purchase Part of Apple's Reputation Management Plan
In Reputation Management Move, Apple Buy Wifislam
In an attempt to improve its blemished reputation, Apple has bought the indoor mapping specialist WiFislam for a reported $20m (£14m). After Apple's disastrous entry into the mapping world, they have elected to buy a specialist business in a hope to compete against their archrival, Google Maps.
Apple refused to divulge its plans, instead saying, "Apple invests in smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not comment on our purpose or plans."
Google has stepped up its efforts to add indoor mapping to its already popular 'Street View' service with indoor coverage seen as the next battleground for mapping technology.
Google Leads The Industry Despite Reputation Management Issues
Google, which leads the pack despite many rescue plans from their reputation management team, has already accepted more than 10,000 floor plans from businesses that want to be featured on their indoor maps. Google is investing serious time and money to build the service, which gathers data from WiFi hotspots and signal towers in a way that is more accurate than satellite positioning.
Wifislam's technology works by using smartphones to "pinpoint its location and the location of your friends in real-time to 2.5m accuracy using only ambient WiFi signals that are already present in buildings," according to its website.
Google and Apple are not the only mapping services available though. Bing Maps has acquired up to 3,000 indoor locations, while Nokia's Destination Maps product has more than 4,000 locations in 38 countries. It all sounds a little like a modern day technology arms race!
WiFiSlam Will Hopefully Help To Rebuild Reputation Of Apple Maps
Apple's map product was widely criticised by users and the technology community when it launched last year, seriously denting Apple's reputation and forcing chief executive Tim Cook to apologise to users. Complaints centred on missing or moved locations as well as confusing, irrelevant search results. "This was not the best reputation management exercise I have seen," commented one user.
In his apology, Mr Cook said: "With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on [our] commitment. We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better." Time will tell as to whether their latest strategy of buying WiFislam will pay off and put Apple on a more level ground with Google.