July 19, 2013, 10:10 AM — Apple has acquired Locationary, a start-up based in Toronto that provides a platform for aggregating and managing local business listings.
Apple confirmed the acquisition Friday, but declined to disclose additional details about the plans it has for the company or its business information management technology, which is called Saturn.
"Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans," said Alan Hely, Apple's senior director of corporate communications in Europe, via email.
According to Locationary's website, its Saturn platform manages 175 million business profiles from 253 feeds and repositories. The technology's goal is to standardize the data and keep it up to date.
Apple faced widespread criticism last year regarding the quality and accuracy of its Maps service in iOS 6. The backlash even prompted a public apology from Apple CEO Tim Cook who promised that the service will be improved.
The acquisition of Locationary may be related to that effort.
Apple Maps is already using data from Yelp, a provider of local business information and user reviews. However, Locationary's Saturn platform may allow Apple to add such data from other sources as well, and more importantly, keep that information up to date.