An upgraded version of Apple’s software that powers the iPhone and iPad will include Yelp’s “check-in” feature to enable users broadcast their whereabouts to friends, according to materials Apple distributed to developers that were reviewed by Bloomberg last month. Apple plans to debut a smaller, cheaper iPad by the end of the year, people familiar with the matter said earlier this week.
“That means more traffic for Yelp,” said Jason Helfstein, an analyst at Oppenheimer & Co., in a telephone interview today. “The more devices you’re built into, the more traction you have. Yelp would be in a better position for new advertising clients and to raise prices.”
Yelp, based in San Francisco, operates a website that lets users review businesses ranging from plumbers to pet shops. The company introduced a check-in service for mobile phones in 2010 in an effort to help local merchants build loyalty with customers. Integration with Apple Maps may help Yelp challenge Foursquare Labs Inc. and Facebook Inc., two leading providers of check-in services.
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