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Apple hires UK team from retired map app Pin Drop

Following the hire, rumors abound of a potential Cambridge, UK office for the iPad and iPhone maker.

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Credit: Apple

Apple is picking up the five-man team that created and ran London-based mapping app Pin Drop.

According to TechCrunch, the hiring route has not taken on the path of company acquisition, but each member has been hired directly. Three hires are software engineers from app builder Caffeinehit — the company which supplied Pin Drop's infrastructure — whereas the founder of Pin Drop is now working as an Apple senior product designer.

The Pin Drop app allows users to "pin" frequently visited and favorite locations on an interactive map, share them online and categorize them. However, due to a lack of funding, founder Andy Ashburn closed the app's doors at the end of August.

On the app's landing page, Ashburn says users won't lose the pins they have collected, and each user will receive an email containing details on how to download their data — including pins and any uploaded images, video and audio files. Although the application can still be used after closure, it is no longer available in the App Store and all data is now stored locally on phones. Accounts and login information no longer exist.

As noted by Cult of Mac, a now-deleted paragraph in a blog post written by Ashburn stated:

My biggest concern was making sure that the core Caffeinehit/Pin Drop team (Tom, Giacomo, Donal and Andrea) got jobs. I’m happy to say they’ve all been snapped up and have (rightfully so) landed themselves dream jobs. Super proud of them all and excited to see how they’re going to change all of our worlds in the future.

In addition to the message, no longer online, one of the former members of the Pin Drop team tweeted that he would be starting a new role as an iOS Software Engineer at Apple. However, each member of the team — Giacomo Saccardo, Tom Drummond, William Donal Adams, Andrea Bravi and Andy Ashburn have all updated their LinkedIn profiles with new Apple-based roles, ranging from software engineers to product design and map analysis.

Each new hire is currently working out of London, which may be connected to rumors that suggest Apple is weeks away from opening an office in Cambridge. As reported by Business Weekly, the iPad and iPhone maker is believed to have selected 90 Hills Road for its Cambridge city centre offices and UK-based research and development. The publication says the Cambridge office will likely begin with approximately 20 staff, but could cater for up to 40 Apple employees.

The building's website states the construction is "a stand alone office building located in one of the most prominent locations on Hills Road, in a key area of Cambridge City and within the heart of the business district."

Ending September 27, Apple reported fourth quarter earnings of $8.5 billion on earnings of $1.42 per share, with Q4 revenue reaching $42.1 billion — beating analyst expectations of $39.85 billion.

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