TomTom Falls After Report Apple Is Building Own Maps Database

(Bloomberg) -- TomTom NV, a maker of digital mapping technology, fell Friday after the website TechCrunch reported that Apple Inc. plans to rebuild its Maps application for iPhones with its own data, putting the companies’ long-running partnership at risk.

When it launched in 2007, Apple’s iPhone used a Maps application powered by data from Google. Amid its fight over smartphones, Apple dropped Google Maps in 2012 and launched a redesigned Maps app with data primarily provided by Amsterdam, Netherlands-based TomTom and other sources. The app immediately received poor reviews. For the past few years, Apple has been building a custom maps infrastructure, drawing from its network of more than 1 billion iPhones and information collected from vans touring the globe with cameras and high-tech sensors.

Apple will begin rolling out its new data through this year’s iOS 12 iPhone and iPad software upgrade, beginning with cities in Northern California, the website TechCrunch reported. The redesigned app will provide higher-resolution satellite images and on the ground data. Apple has a team of satellite imagery experts and another team working on collecting data via drones, Bloomberg News has reported.

Spokesmen for Apple and TomTom couldn’t be reached for comment.

TomTom declined 1.7 percent to 7.76 euros at the close in Amsterdam. The stock has dropped 6 percent this year.

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