Is Apple Looking in the Wrong Places?

To Fill Its Maps Gap, Apple May Need to Go Dutch


Apple’s recent Beats buy (see Instant Insight: Apple Acquires Beats) forces us to think about other gaps in Apple’s portfolio. This takes us back to the potential of Netherlands-based TomTom.

With a stock-market value of about $1.5 billion, TomTom would enable Apple to address its location-based services shortfall: TomTom’s Tele Atlas subsidiary would provide Apple with its own global database of digital maps and the required support infrastructure. (TomTom itself paid more than $4 billion for Tele Atlas in 2008.) In addition, Apple would pick up industry talent to supplement its navigation and wearables teams.

If Apple’s management is really thinking differently about acquisitions these days, we can expect to see Apple writing more cheques to compete more aggressively with Android and Google services. At its current valuation, TomTom would be a relative steal for Apple.