Is Foursquare Good News for Apple Maps?

Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) mapping service faces a difficult road to recovery; the application caused user outrage so great that Chief Executive Tim Cook apologized, and Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) recently-released mapping application for iOS now tops the list of the most popular free applications in the iOS App Store. But with discussions to integrate local data from Foursquare set in motion, Apple has a plan to take on Google.

What Does Foursquare Have that Apple Wants?

The rumor of a possible Foursquare integration gained momentum when Apple senior vice president Eddy Cue posted a check-in on the service to Twitter last week. According to the Wall Street Journal, recent talks between Cue and Foursquare executives are “the latest sign of Apple’s plans to more tightly integrate local services into the iPhone and iPad.”

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As AppleInsider noted, Foursquare could provide “a number of business listings, relative popularity, and user-generated tips to help enhance the iOS Maps experience.” Most importantly, the mobile app would help Apple to build a wealth of local data, and supplement the local reviews and business listings already provided by Yelp (NYSE:YELP). Foursquare, which made a deal to add tips to Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Bing search engine in July, allows users to “check in” to locations and make recommendations.

CHEAT SHEET Analysis: Could a Foursquare Integration Be a Positive Catalyst for Apple’s Stock?

One of the core components of our CHEAT SHEET Investing Framework focuses on catalysts that will move a company’s stock. This year, Apple has worked to minimize its dependence on Google’s applications. As TechCrunch noted last week, “Apple likes to do everything in-house, and to own every part that makes Apple’s products useful.” With this guiding philosophy, the company designed iOS 6, which was released in September with its own mapping application. But its mapping service was derided for its shortcomings upon its release, and now Apple has to work hard to make its service a viable alternative to Google Maps.

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