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Apple hires five employees from defunct mapping app Pin Drop in possible UK build out

Supposed location of Apple's new Cambridge, UK office.

In what appears to be a build out of its UK operations, Apple recently hired five employees of defunct mapping app Pin Drop, who could be part of the first team to take residence at a rumored R&D office in Cambridge.

According to TechCrunch, Apple picked up the five-man team as straight hires, not through so-called "acqui-hiring" process of purchasing a firm for its talent. Three of the hires are software engineers from app builder Caffeinehit, while Pin Drop head Andy Ashburn is now working for Apple as a senior product designer out of London.

Ashburn announced the app would shutter its doors on Oct. 31 due to lack of funding. A static landing page on confirms the shutdown, noting users can continue to use their data locally, but off-site services, data and social media accounts have been expunged.

Pin Drop allowed users to save — pin — frequently visited locations, lump them together under categories and share them online. The lists were available to both registered and anonymous users as a community-driven location discovery tool.

The former Pin Drop team has since updated their respective LinkedIn profiles to reflect employment at Apple, with all five currently based out of London. Along with Ashburn's new title, the other four members include Maps Data Analyst and three software engineers, one of whom focuses on iOS code.

It was reported last week that Apple is close to moving into a relatively small office in Cambridge, an intellectual mecca out of which a number of high-tech companies are already operating. Called 90 Hills Road, the building is estimated to fit 40 employees, though it is estimated that Apple will kickstart the venture with 20 people.

While Apple has yet to make an official appearance in Cambridge, the company is said to be weeks away from opening up shop as a corporate office and R&D center.