Apple Acquires Indoor GPS Company for $20 Million

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple has closed a deal to acquire WifiSLAM.

WifiSLAM is largely focused on building technology that affords users positioning data while indoors.

Apple paid an estimated $20 million for the Silicon Valley-based company, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The two-year-old startup has developed ways for mobile apps to detect a phone user’s location in a building using Wi-Fi signals. It has been offering the technology to application developers for indoor mapping and new types of retail and social networking apps. The company has a handful of employees, and its co-founders include former Google software engineering intern Joseph Huang.

The acquisition isn’t surprising given Apple’s ongoing efforts to wage war against Google in the realm of mapping.

Plagued by poor reviews and user complaints, iOS Maps prompted a public apology from Apple chief executive Tim Cook last year, who admitted a better quality product is a must.