Apple Buys C3 Technologies Mapping Company

Apple buys C3 TechnologiesApple has apparently brought yet another mapping technology company under its wing thanks to the reported purchase of C3 Technologies. If so, this marks the third mapping-related company Apple has purchased, and with C3 Technologies under its control, the Mac, iPhone and iPad maker now has access to high-end 3D mapping technologies.

Word of the purchase comes courtesy of 9to5 Mac, who says its sources claim C3 Technologies CEO Mattias Astrom, CFO Kjell Cederstrand and lead product manager Ludvig Emgrad are all working in Apple’s iOS division, hinting that the company has some big 3D mapping plans in store for the iPhone.

The purchase apparently happened in August, although neither company made an announcement. The C3 Technologies website is gone now, too, adding some validity to the reports that the company has been purchased.

VentureBeat estimated the deal at US$240 million, although there hasn’t been any official confirmation on the price tag, either.

Apple purchased the mapping company PlaceBase in mid 2009, and followed that up by buying the 3D mapping company Ploy9 later that same year. Now with C3 Technologies apparently on Apple’s team, too, the company is in a much stronger position to build its own mobile mapping tools — and to reduce its reliance on Google’s mapping tools.

With its own arsenal of mapping tools at its disposal, Apple looks to be well on its way to taking full control over mobile location services on iOS devices, cutting Google out of yet another piece of the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch market.

Apple has not officially confirmed that it purchased C3 Technologies.