Apple buys Silicon Valley startup WiFiSlam

NEW YORK Sun Mar 24, 2013 6:29pm EDT

Customers gather outside an Apple store before the release of iPhone 5 in Munich early September 21, 2012. REUTERS/Michael Dalder

Customers gather outside an Apple store before the release of iPhone 5 in Munich early September 21, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Michael Dalder

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Apple has acquired a Silicon Valley startup, WiFiSlam, which makes mapping applications for smart phones.

Apple confirmed the acquisition, but declined to give details. The news was earlier reported by The Wall Street Journal, which quoted a person familiar with the matter as saying that Apple paid around $20 million for the company.

"Apple acquires smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans," an Apple spokesman told Reuters.

WiFiSlam develops technology that provides indoor tracking and similar services. Big tech companies such as Apple and Google have been racing to provide more and better map applications for users. Google's application, Google Maps, is widely accessed on Google's Android platform and rival Apple's rival iOS platform.

(Reporting by Poornima Gupta in San Francisco and Caroline Valetkevitch in New York; Editing by David Brunnstrom)

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