TomTom: We Have a Map Deal with Apple

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Following Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference keynote event on Monday, several sharp-eyed viewers noted that there were references to the navigation company TomTom in some of the iOS mapping images shown during the event. TomTom has followed up by confirming that it does have a deal with Apple, although the company isn’t sharing any details.

“TomTom has signed a global agreement with Apple for maps and related information. No further details of the agreement will be provided,” TomTom representatives said in a statement.

iOS 6's Maps app includes TomTom technologyiOS 6’s Maps app includes TomTom technology

The company’s navigation-related technology is being used in the version of the Maps app that will be included in iOS 6 when it ships some time this fall. The new Maps app drops Google mapping in favor of Apple’s own offering and technology from partner companies such as TomTom.

Apple’s new Maps app includes what the company is calling “Apple-designed cartography,” with vector-based map components, turn-by-turn directions, crowd-sourced traffic data, and a 3D-looking fly-over mode with photo-realistic images.

The new map system should come with better overall performance since Apple can fine-tune the feature to take advantage of iPhone, iPad and iPod touch hardware, and by partnering with other companies like TomTom it can distance itself more from Google — which seems to be a path Apple is happy to go down.

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Comments

BurmaYank

”...and by partnering with other companies like TomTom it can distance itself more from Google ? which seems to be a path Apple is happy to go down.”

... and is a path I am overjoyed Apple is going down!

macbike

Google brought this on themselves. 

For a long time they have had pretty good turn-by-turn nav on the android platform.  But what they offer on iOS was rather paltry ... pretty much just draw a line from the starting point to the destination. 

So why wouldn’t it be in Apple’s interest to develop their own map product.  Call it controlling if you want, why leave yourself at the mercy of your biggest competitor for a core application.

Google was in a very delicate place ... they want to keep Apple as a player in the Google Maps arena, to keep their revenues up, yet they don’t want to provide the full mapping solution, as that would encourage Android defections.

Moving forward, to get those eyeballs back, there is no reason why Google couldn’t provide a state of the art mapping application for iOS, but I’m pretty sure that ain’t gonna happen.

Wayne

Hopefully both sides will benefit from this partnership.  I’m getting quite tired of my Tom Tom telling me to turn when it’s just a simple curve in the road, or stating that my destination is still 4 miles away when I can clearly see it just down the street.  And then there was the time it wanted me to get off the freeway and drive through the middle of the airport in Phoenix…. and the time it tried to lead me through the employee gate on the back side of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World… and the time it wanted me to take what I can only describe as a cattle trail in Wyoming… and a river bed in Southern California…  through a lake in Wisconsin (might have worked in the winter though)... 

I could write a book actually.

Like I said, hopefully both sides can benefit from this.

TomTom User

macbike,

I would not be surprised (indeed I would be disappointed) if TomTom’s deal with Apple does not include a full suite of TomTom’s flagship product, just like Google didn’t provide a full suite of their product. Why would you, as a provider, cannibalise your own products. 

These strategic relationships are just that, strategic.  It helps to them to expand their branding, footprint, or the overall ‘pie’ of the consumer base.  It’s not designed to kill off one part of the organisation’s interest for a smaller gain arising from an Apple-related partnership.  The explosion of the Android platform is proof that Google’s strategy worked.

Earlier, I said I would be disappointed if TomTom offered its full suite of its flagship navigation product. As an early adopter of the TomTom iphone App, I would want an enhanced differentiated product, especially given the fact I paid super premium dollars to fill that gap that you so aptly identified in the original Google Maps app on iPhone.

palenoue

I hope we get access to the voices on Tom Tom.  I’d love to have Brian Blessed giving me directions to the nearest coffee shop.

Tom Tom User

Wayne, I have no such problems of those you describe in Australia. There’s a feature to update errors that users find. If more people reciprocated with these updates as they benefit from the updates of other users, then they’d be less reason to complain about errors in direction. smile

Lee Dronick
Wayne

Wayne, I have no such problems of those you describe in Australia. There?s a feature to update errors that users find. If more people reciprocated with these updates as they benefit from the updates of other users, then they?d be less reason to complain about errors in direction. smile

I’m quite familiar with the “map corrections” functions.  It’s one of the most user-unfriendly experiences ever invented.  I can’t speak for Australia, but typing descriptive explanations on a 5” touch screen attached to the center of the dash while driving isn’t exactly legal here.  However, If there was a way to bookmark errors and give details later, I imagine more people would use that feature.

The thing that keeps me from entering more updates (I do enter some) is the fact that Tom Tom repackages those updates and profits from them while I get nothing in return.  Tom Tom has a bit of history when it comes to taking user data and reselling it.

http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/cartech/outrage-over-tomtom-speed-traps-for-motorists-20110506-1ebc2.html

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