In what is the latest example of a tech giant purchasing a startup to bolster mobile operations, Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) has set out to acquire WifiSlam.
The target, headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif., provides indoor maps and allows smartphones to pinpoint locations using Wi-Fi signals present in buildings. The deal comes after Apple received criticism for its maps application after it released the iPhone 5 in September.
WiFiSlam is currently working to build mobile applications that provide indoor navigation and proximity-based social networking.
The deal could help Apple make iPhone navigation more accurate and aid in competing with Google (Nasdaq: GOOG). Both companies have been scouring Silicon Valley for targets that provide more efficient map applications for users. Google's application, Google Maps, is widely accessed on Google's Android platform and rivals the iOS platform used by Apple.
The company reportedly paid $20 million for WiFiSlam.
Apple and Google are not the only companies buying startups - Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) purchased two startups in March.