Apple may make a bid to buy the mapping company TomTom to help improve its own iOS 6 Maps service, according to Rabobank International analyst Hans Slob. TomTom already provides some map data for Apple, and owning the company would allow for faster improvements to Maps.
Apple could pay as much as €10 (about US$13) a share for TomTom, which is currently trading around €4.12, according to Bloomberg.
Mr. Slob claims the deal would be a win for both companies. "TomTom needs the cash from Apple, and Apple needs the know-how of TomTom," he said.
Apple faced widespread criticism for the accuracy of its Maps app after dropping Google's mapping service with the release of iOS 6. Many people complained about bad driving directions, prominent locations that weren't listed, and the lack of mass transit directions and street view.
Earlier this week Police in Australia warned motorists to avoid using Apple's Maps after motorists were left stranded in a wilderness area nearly 50 miles from the town they thought their iPhones were directing them to. Apple moved quickly to correct the problem, but there are still reports of inaccurate directions.
Apple CEO Tim Cook pushed former senior vice president Scott Forstall, the man ultimately responsible for Maps and Siri, out of the company and published a public apology letter promising that improvements were on the way. Sources said Mr. Forstall apparently refused to sign the letter, which may have been the final straw for Mr. Cook.
Apple and TomTom haven't commented on whether or not there's any weight behind Mr. Slob's prediction, but TomTom's stock is climbing on the possibility.