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January 4, 2013

Apple Hopes to Buy Social-Navigation App Waze

Apple is seeking to acquire social-navigation app Waze for half a billion dollars, according to rumors swirling through the technology sector.

Although neither Apple or Waze have been willing to confirm they are in talks, sources who claim to have knowledge of the negotiations told Tech Crunch Waze is holding out for $750 million.

So far, the sources said, Apple has offered only $400 million in cash and $100 million in incentives, based on performance.

Waze, the world’s fastest-growing community-based traffic and navigation app, has more than 30 million users who share current traffic information wherever they are driving.

“Imagine 30 million drivers out on the roads, working together toward a common goal: to outsmart traffic and get everyone the best route to work and back, every day,” the website reads. “Get alerted before you approach police, accidents, road hazards or traffic jams, all shared by other drivers in real time. It’s like a personal heads-up from a few million of your friends on the road.”

An “active community” of Waze map editors are continuously improving and updating the app to reflect changes in a bid to improve users’ driving experience.

It is easy to conclude why Apple is interested in Waze. Its disastrous launch of Apple Maps, the built-in application in iOS, hit the market last fall and has left the company scrambling to fix the many glitches and holes in the program ever since. Apple CEO Tim Cook issued an apology after Maps was ridiculed by critics and users alike, and promised the company would fix the app.

It has been rumored in recent months that Apple is actively combing the mapping sector to uncover companies it could buy to shore up Maps.

It was thought Apple was sniffing around Foursquare and TomTom, but nothing has come of the speculation as yet.