When Google acquired Waze in May, 2013 for a reported $1 billion, it solidified its hold on intelligence-gathering for the PDA mobile market. Waze is a free GPS-based navigation application for Android, Apple, Blackberry, and Windows mobile. Waze has an estimated 50 million worldwide users. A stated value of the Waze app is to allow users to provide real-time updates on traffic jams, accidents, speed traps, cheap fuel locations, and landmarks along their route. Waze’s programmatic ability to to know where you are at all times by assessing vehicle speed and location has the benefit of potentially saving you a lot of time, although the ‘eye in the sky’ tracking of 50 million vehicles or PDA’s is a bit Orwellian.
Google and Waze see mapping as the key to monetizing mobile potential in much the same way as search engines have done for the web. They seek to differentiate between when you’re ‘just’ going to work and not likely interested in ads from those trips where you might be influenced by advertising prompts along your route. All in all, it underscores the importance of your PDA mobile planning to attract new customers. At Western Equity, we recognize that a mobile device strategy is essential to any new initiative.