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December 24, 2013

Wheelings & Dealings: Apple Likely Purchased BroadMap and Catch This Year

Apple (News - Alert) is not like other technology companies, in more ways than one. Take, for example, the way the company handles its acquisitions. While Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has been scooping up companies left and right all year, making headlines all the while, Apple too has made a fair number of acquisitions but, as usual for the tech giant, you’d have to do a bit of digging to find out.

According to ValueWalk, Apple made 15 acquisitions in total this year, but only 10 of them, like the August acquisitions of Passif Semiconductor, have had any kind of details released. As for the other five, they’re something of a mystery but rumors seem to suggest that two of them at least were of mapmaking company BroadMap — a natural choice considering the troubles Apple Maps had early on — and Catch, a company that makes a note taking app similar to Evernote (News - Alert). Let’s dig into some details about these rumored acquisitions.

Starting with BroadMap, this acquisition would pair nicely with the other map-related purchases Apple made throughout the year. However, while most of Apple’s other map acquisitions tended to relate to indoor mapping and transit, it seems BroadMap was picked up for its expertise in managing, sorting and analyzing mapping data. This suggests the BroadMap team will help improve the overall experience of Apple Maps.

As for Catch, the note taking app has often been compared to Evernote. In particular, Catch is known for its ability to sync notes to the cloud. Regardless of its specialties, though, a note taking app could work well integrated into Siri, extending the virtual assistant’s ability to keep users informed of upcoming appointments. Furthermore, Catch’s cloud specialty would make a natural fit for the iCloud team.

As it so happens, Catch also has some navigation experience, namely due to its no-longer-available Compass (News - Alert) Android app that allowed users to add notes to locations.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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