Apple is one of those huge corporations that, whenever it does anything, it’s all over the news. Recently, the technology behemoth purchased a small navigation startup by the name of Coherent Navigation, and the internet exploded with theories as to why. With the dismal state of Apple Maps, I can’t say that I found the move particularly surprising or even all that noteworthy. I hadn’t even heard of Coherent Navigation until Apple purchased them.
After doing a bit of research (mostly out of curiosity because it kept popping up in my news feed) this little GPS company apparently was pretty small, based on the coast and mostly handled navigation and location research projects funded by the U.S. Department of Defense. Pretty cool, but again, nothing super noteworthy. The company’s primary claim to fame was its work on High-Integrity GPS or “iGPS” which is meant to help improve GPS reliability. Which, if you’ve ever looked at Apple Maps, then you know Apple certainly is interested in.
Anyway, interesting but not super noteworthy. Then, I came across an extremely brief press release from TomTom in regards to resigning the ongoing deal with Apple. I admit I was a little surprised both at the tone of the announcement and by the fact that a deal was signed so soon after purchasing their own little GPS powerhouse.
The TomTom press release reads:
TomTom (AEX: TOM2) has renewed and extended its global agreement with Apple for maps and related information.
No further details of the agreement will be provided.
And that’s it. One could probably safely assume that the “related information” mentioned is a form of TomTom traffic. Still, such simple wording implies to me that TomTom didn’t get as good of a deal as it had, perhaps, enjoyed prior to the Apple purchase. Add this to the upcoming sale of Nokia’s HERE maps, and I suspect that mobile navigation and mapping is in for a few changes in the next few months.
It is worth note that TomTom has been providing mapping information and traffic to Apple since 2012, when the tech giant spurned Google in favor of the TomTom brand. Google Maps are still available for download as an app, but the maps have not been included by default in several years.