We were asked today to give our thoughts on the potential integration of Apple’s new Maps app with Yelp check-ins. Here are our thoughts:
I’ll admit to having mixed feelings about check-in. Foursquare has never convinced me; badges for multiple check-ins and small discounts on products for check-in loyalty I have never thought would attract a wide, consistent base of followers. Time will tell. No doubt the LBS market is where we are seeing VC money focused. Foursquare were early into the game. Now we are seeing a flood of small companies entering the LBS space. A few with great ideas, but too many resembling what became dot com busts during the dot com bubble burst.
I think the interesting part of this announcement is that Apple are potentially going to shake up the consumer focused LBS sector. Clearly their focus. Google have provided both consumer and GIS-lite business app tools. They sit between Apple’s area of focus and companies like ESRI. As an example of business tools, see their recent announcement on Google Coordinate a mobile workforce service. ESRI provide sophisticated geo-tools (Geographic information systems or GIS) historically popular in the public sector, and increasingly enterprise focused.
So overall, I think it is exciting that Apple have entered the mapping world. Their targeting of the LBS sector, with announcements like today’s, will raise the bar on the quality of services provided, and will inject a healthy dose of new innovation.
Let us know what you think. Email me at [email protected]