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Seeking Maps Fix, Apple Fires Mapping Team Manager And Asks Outsiders For Help
According to a widely cited Bloomberg report published earlier today Apple has fired another executive in connection with its mapping woes. The article says that Eddie Cue, who’s now running the software division, ousted Richard Williamson who managed the mapping team.
The same report says that “Cue . . . is seeking advice from outside mapping-technology experts and prodding digital maps provider TomTom NV to fix landmark and navigation data it shares with Apple.” Bloomberg reports that “Cue wants to install a new leadership team for the group.”
Anecdotally I’ve noticed improvements in Apple Maps; however it’s still not reliable — especially the routing. There’s a bit of a crisis of confidence that has to be addressed.
Many iOS users are awaiting the release of a native Google Maps app, which is supposedly about to be submitted to Apple for approval (perhaps it has been by now).
There’s no indication that the Apple Maps controversy (“debacle” as some would call it) has harmed iPhone 5 sales, which continue to do very well. The whole episode has been an embarrassment to the company however.
Apple has apparently been aggressively recruiting Google Maps personnel as part of its larger effort to fix the problems with its mapping product.
One question in my mind is whether Apple will make another acquisition in the mapping space. For example, it could easily acquire a public company such as Telenav or a smaller, private one like deCarta to help with maps (It already bought IP from deCarta). It could also go after startup Recce for a relatively modest sum.
There are a number of such possibilities. I suspect there will be an acquisition.