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Apple buys WiFiSlam for $20m

It’s hard to remember anything undermining Apple’s position in the market more than the maps debacle that accompanied the ousting of Google from iOS in favour of a self-branded product that struggled to find its butt with both hands. Now Apple has its heart set on a different kind of mapping. KitGuru tracks itself around a late night supermarket for details.

At the end of October 2012, Scott Forstall was shown the door by Apple because, in Tim Cook’s opinion, Scott should have shouldered responsibility for Apple’s famous mapping issues in the previous month.

Almost exactly one month later at the end of November, Richard Williamson, the executive who was specifically responsible for the ‘improved’ mapping project was also sacked.

With the heads of the mapping hydra lying on the floor, Apple decided to take a long hard look at what it wanted to do in this area going forward.

Silicon Valley starts up WiFiSlam seems to be the solution that Cook’s cronies have been looking for.

Co-founder of WiFiSlam, Joseph Huang, use to ply his trade over at Google. His take on what WiFiSlam is all about goes something like this, “We are building the next generation of location-based mobile apps that, for the first time, engage with users at the scale that personal interaction actually takes place. Applications range from step-by-step indoor navigation, to product-level retail customer engagement, to proximity-based social networking”.

It will also, “Allow your smartphone to pinpoint its location, and the location of your friends, in real-time to 2.5m accuracy using only ambient WiFi signals that are already present in buildings”.

Moving from market leading Google Maps, to the wonky Apple model, highlighted one of Android’s key wins against the Jobs legacy organisation. Not something that Tim Cook will want to spend any time doing when Samsung is eating up Apple customers like they are going out of fashion.

If Tim wants to keep his job, he’s going to have to innovate at a much higher level.

If Joseph Huang had been using Apple Maps, he may never have discovered Tim Cook's treasure

KitGuru says: The Big Brother image that Apple’s 1984 advert so memorably railed against – is bring brought close and closer by, you guessed it, Apple.

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