Yelp’s (NYSE:YELP) relevance and future profitability was brought into question on Thursday after Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) announced its long-awaited map application for Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS and a report in TechCrunch suggested that Apple may be considering acquiring Foursquare or integrating its software into the company’s operating system.
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In recent months, Foursquare has edged into Yelp’s territory. Currently iOS relies heavily on recommendations provided by Yelp to help users find nearby restaurants. However, as TechCrunch reported, “Apple likes to do everything in-house, and to own every part that makes Apple’s products useful,” and Foursquare could “replace everything related to Yelp in iOS.” In October, the location-based social networking company made its services even more appealing to Apple, and more like Yelp, by incorporating a search box into its homepage design.
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Google’s release of its new map app is another problem for Yelp, because it means that iPhone owners who were displeased with Apple Maps now have a tried-and-true alternative.