APPLE Buys GPS Startup Firm
With technology continuously being fitted to suit consumer needs, location software plays a vital role in developing customer-tailored applications and features. In line with this pace, tech giant Apple acquired a Global Positioning System called Coherent Navigation. The acquisition is expected to further bolster Apple’s location technology and services.
Apple confirmed the purchase after news of a deal became public: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plan.”The tech giant did not say when the acquisition was made or the cost but Coherent Navigation’s Executive Paul Lego wrote on his LinkedIn profile that he joined Apple last January 2015.
Coherent Navigation, founded in 2008, was a small firm focused on creating commercial navigating services based on company partnerships with firms such as Iridium, the satellite network operator, and Boeing. Since its early roots, the need for the company’s technology has only grown.
Coherent Navigation worked on high-precision navigation systems, a technology considered to be stronger than numerous consumer-grade global positioning systems. These advancements are typically accurate within 3 to 5 meters. According to past company job listings, the GPS firm has also worked on autonomous navigation and other robotics projects, as well as projects for the Department of Defense.
Apple’s usage of the company’s technology and services remains unclear up to date. It is unclear if the company will incorporate the GPS firm’s services into Apple’s current range of products. The terms of the company’s acquisition of Coherent Navigation were not disclosed.
This is not Apple’s first service acquisition; it is one of Apple’s threads of location technology service purchases over the past six years. The acquisition of Placebase, a mapping service, in 2009 symbolized Apple’s transition towards its own mapping technology. Over the following years, Apple continued to acquire numerous companies with the same purpose, which includes Hopstop and Locationary.
These acquisitions are part of Apple’s expanded strategy on moving away from Google Maps dependence. In 2012, Apple released its own mapping service using in-house technology and license from TomTom, a Dutch digital mapping company. This innovation replaced Apple’s previous mapping application, which was based on Google Maps.
Competition for location-based services continues to intensify but Apple remains the leader of quality acquisitions for better technological purposes.