Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has apparently acquired even more mapping companies than what was previously known. As first reported by 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman, Apple acquired mapping firm BroadMap earlier this year, as well as note-taking app Catch.
Although Gurman first cited “evidence and chatter from sources,” the acquisitions were later confirmed by Apple with its typical boilerplate statement. “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” the company said in a statement to All Things D.
During Apple’s fiscal fourth-quarter earnings call in October, CEO Tim Cook said: “We also completed 15 strategic acquisitions. That’s an average of one acquisition every three to four weeks.” However, only some of those acquisitions had been revealed, including personal assistant app company Cue, low-power wireless chip company Passif Semiconductor, and social analytics company Topsy Labs.
Apple also made several acquisitions that appear to be aimed at bolstering its native mapping application: location data company Locationary, mass transit navigation app company HopStop, and transit system app company Embark. BroadMap appears to be another company that will be used by the California-based company to try and further improve Apple Maps.
As noted by 9to5Mac, BroadMap offers a wide range of mapping services using GIS (Geographic Information Systems) data. In this sense, Apple may have acquired BroadMap for its overall expertise in mapping, rather than to gain a specific technology. According to 9to5Mac’s source, Apple’s acquisition of BroadMap “was mostly centered around talent.”
Gurman also pointed out that at least four of BroadMap’s executive team members are now working for Apple. All four of the executives also indicated in their LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) profiles that they started working for Apple in March or April, 9to5Mac reports.
Catch, a popular note-taking app that was available on both iOS and Android, shuttered its operations in August. Catch explained the closure by releasing a statement that it “made the difficult decision to take the company in a different direction.” However, it now appears that the company’s “difficult decision” was its acquisition by Apple. As noted by 9to5Mac, Catch’s capabilities could be integrated into Siri or any other applications that utilize note taking or reminder functions.
Apple acquired an unusually high number of companies during fiscal year 2013. As previously reported, Apple bought three times as many companies this year than it did in fiscal year 2012.
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