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Apple Puts Yelp in Maps for iOS 6

NEW YORK ( Trefis) -- Apple (AAPL - Get Report) is planning to include Yelp (YELP - Get Report) integration in its new Maps application in iOS 6. It will enable users to check in to different locations and businesses directly using the Yelp service on the Maps application, without the need to open the Yelp app.

By being the default check-in app for Maps on iOS, Yelp could see a significant increase in engagement and check-in activity following the integration, given the massive iOS user base and the significantly higher average internet and app usage among them.

Check out our complete analysis of Yelp

Apple already integrated Yelp's functionality in iOS 5.1 to return results powered by Yelp whenever users search for recommendations on local businesses using Siri, and also started directing all requests for reviews and ratings directly to Yelp's mobile site.

Given the millions of iPhones sold to date, this could become a major traffic driver for Yelp and also increase visitor engagement levels. Since Yelp's entire business depends on the number of users actively using it, this is a very positive development.

More users means more reviews and more local businesses advertising with Yelp to attract more customers, which ultimately means more advertising revenue for Yelp.

Since local and display advertising account for nearly 65% of Yelp's total value, its revenue growth is definitely going to be helped by any increase in visitors. We currently have a $10 Trefis price estimate for Yelp, which stands nearly 50% below its market price. It competes primarily with other online business review services like Google (GOOG) Places, Yahoo! (YHOO) Local, Angie's List, CityLocal and Gumtree, as well as check-in services like Foursquare.

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This commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet guest contributor program. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of TheStreet or its management.

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