Apple Said to Buy HopStop, Pushing Deeper Into Maps

Apple Said to Buy HopStop, Pushing Deeper Into Maps

Apple Inc. (AAPL) agreed to buy online transit-navigation service HopStop.com Inc., people with knowledge of the deal said, seeking to improve mapping tools after a rocky debut for its directions software last year.

The people asked not to be identified because the deal isn’t public. AllThingsD reported earlier today that Cupertino, California-based Apple is purchasing Locationary Inc., a Toronto-based company focused on business-location maps.New mapping software Apple debuted in September with the iPhone 5 has been faulted for getting users lost and for its lack of public transportation directions. HopStop shows users in more than 500 cities the fastest way to travel by foot, bike, subway and car; Locationary deploys real-time data from a variety of sources to help users find featured businesses.

Apple, which touted the map features as a key software change in the iPhone 5, built its navigation application amid a growing battle with Google Inc., which had provided its Google Maps program since the iPhone was introduced in 2007. Apple built the replacement app in part because it wanted to scale back its relationship with Google, not because of any product flaws, two people familiar with Apple’s mapping product said last year.

Google unveiled its mapping application for the iPhone and iPad in December. Google Maps is the most popular free program in Apple’s App Store. HopStop ranks No. 7 among free navigation tools.

HopStop, based in New York, provides directions for more than 140 major metropolitan areas in the U.S. and six other countries, according to its website.

To contact the reporters on this story: Peter Burrows in San Francisco at pburrows@bloomberg.net; Sarah Frier in New York at sfrier1@bloomberg.net

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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