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Apple quietly buys, relocates Canada's Poly9

updated 11:00 am EDT, Wed July 14, 2010

Acquisition may hint at future mapping plans

Apple has reportedly bought Poly9, a company from the mostly French-speaking Canadian province of Québec. According to Le Soleil, the majority of Poly9's workers have already been moved out to California, and its offices have been closed for several weeks. Apple has also allegedly asked the Poly9 staff not to discuss the buyout publicly.

As is usual with Apple's smaller acquisitions, there is no official word on why Poly9 was bought. The latter's clients have included the likes of Microsoft, NORAD, Yahoo and Apple itself however, and a signature product is Poly9 Globe, a web app close in concept to Google Earth, but more lightweight and embeddable into third-party websites. Apple may be interested in furthering its own mapping interests apart from Google. Last year it bought Placebase, a company working on technology similar to Google Maps.

In November, Apple posted a job listing asking for someone to help raise the iPhone Maps app "to the next level." The basic idea was to "rethink how users use Maps and change the way people find things," although it was not much more specific than that. The company might only have been looking for help with the iPad version of Maps, which was still under construction at the time.

by MacNN Staff



    Comment buried. Show
  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Is Apple so irritated at Google that they got into the phone business that Apple feels the need to get into every other business Google is in?

    Or is this just another instance where Apple is now doing what we mocked the others for doing: Just copying what the competition is doing.

  1. prl99

    Joined: Dec 1969


    maps have been around forever

    Who was first in electronic maps? The GPS map vendors came before Google didn't they? hardcopy maps have been around forever so there's no reason to ride Apple over trying to improve on the way electronic maps are created and used. Isn't that what Apple is best at, taking an idea and making it more usable to the general public? I'd love to see Google maps improved upon.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. wrenchy

    Joined: Dec 1969




  1. nat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    oh testudo and wrenchy

    you kids are the best! and that all caps? why, top shelf stuff that! WELL DONE WRENCHY!
    hey, that looks pretty good! PRETTY GOOD INDEED!

    now, since there is no product yet, we don't know what they're doing do we? unlike some other "copiers" who have pretty much laid out what they're doing. why, just yesterday ms was touting it's new windows phone 7 live thingy that is, you know, pretty much a straight copy of the iphone eco system. we know that. this is just speculation.

    so, let's just hold on there a cotton pickin second and see what develops. then you all can come on back with that sterling wit of yours.

  1. CarlRJ

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not trying to compete with Google...

    Apple has had a number of painful episodes in the past of getting hung out to dry because of another company's indifference/neglect to their needs (Motorola, IBM, Metrowerks, Microsoft, Adobe). They don't want to get stuck in that boat again; they want to be prepared if Google pulls the same thing. At the same time, maybe they'll come up with something for mapping that Google hasn't thought of...

    Comment buried. Show
  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Not trying to compete

    Apple has had a number of painful episodes in the past of getting hung out to dry because of another company's indifference/neglect to their needs

    And since when did a map application become a huge business model that it would affect Apple?

    And I'm sure this was the reason behind iAds. I mean, without it, there might not be any way to get ads on your phone!

  1. Gepard

    Joined: Dec 1969


    testudo, what are you doing here?

    Have you noticed that almost all your comments get the negative scores?

    Apple is not just another company. Didn't you get that? Apple's business is built around a user not around technologies, OSes, boxes etc. It is all about users. They have been always thinking how to create something that works best for people. They innovate, they make it easy to use and their stuff pleases your eyes.

    I have nothing against Google, they have a lot technologies and great ideas, but it is not Apple. And it will probably never be.

  1. Flying Meat

    Joined: Dec 1969



    They're all hangin' out in the sunny Guantanamo beach resort now?
    Darned Canuckistanians! They're everywhere! ;)

  1. wrenchy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Poly9 Globe

    is a Flash-based mapping application.

    Oh the irony. ROFL!

  1. coffeetime

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Remember MapQuest? MapQuest was number 1 before Google Map appears. It doesn't hurt to have yet another and better Map site surfaces. Apple is doing the right thing because down the road, they don't have to depend on third party such as Google Map whom will have exclusive features only available on Android.

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