Apple Getting Deeper Into Maps?
Even as the rest of the world is focused on Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s iPhone 4 antenna problems, the company itself has reportedly bought up Canadian 3D mapping company, Poly9.
French-Canadian site leSoliel is reporting that Apple has bought the Quebec-based company for an undisclosed sum. Poly9 has previously supplied mapping code for companies like Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO).
Apple is currently using Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) for mapping on its iPhone model. Poly9 offers 3D globe-spanning software that appears to compete with the Google Earth application. Taken in conjunction with Apple's acquisition of PlaceBase in July 2009, it appears that the Mac maker may be trying to pull together both localized and global mapping capabilities for mobile and beyond.
This video shows how the 3D map can be currently used to display news and information in a geographical context:
Apple is said to have already moved Poly9 employees to Cupertino, Calif. There's no official world on the buyout, however, from Apple.
Apple and rival Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) have both been quite active in the mobile mapping and location area recently. (See Nokia, Yahoo Team for Mail, Chat, Maps, Nokia Offers Ovi Maps for Free, Nokia Buys MetaCarta, and Nokia Sells MetaCarta.) — Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile