Apple Drops Google Maps on iOS

Source: Maps and Compass Built-in Apps/ Apple

As reported by Wall Street Journal, Apple is planning to break Google Maps from its iOS to use their own native Maps app later this year. The Cupertino-based company is also likely to announce their mobile operating system’s new feature at next week’s Worldwide Developers Conference. In relation to this, the iOS maker is reportedly looking to convince third-party app developers to integrate its technology to their offerings.

Ousting Google Maps to Deliver Native Maps App

It is said that Apple’s plan to ditch Google Maps has been in the works for years. It gained traction due to the rampant sales of Android devices. The company’s plan to bring a Maps application to iOS has been evident since 2009, when they started acquiring mapping technology firms. They bought Placebase that year and Poly9 a year after that. Last year, the iPhone maker acquired the Swedish 3D mapping company C3.

There were also claims that Apple has been collecting data for a crowd-sourced “improve traffic service” for iPhone users.  Additionally, the company informed the US senators in 2010 that they will be using their own databases for location-based services after iOS 3.2 was rolled out. In March, it was discovered that the iPhone maker switched to OpenStreetMaps for its iPhoto iOS app.

The shift took place as location services are quickly gaining significant market share in the advertising industry. However, Apple is not just all about the money. As the WSJ report pointed out:

“But more than ad revenue, Apple is going after the map market to have more control over a key asset in the widening smartphone war. So Apple believes controlling the mapping experience and offering features that Google doesn’t have can help sell more devices and entice developers to build unique apps for iPhone users.”

Apple vs. Google

The reports about the Maps for iOS became popular when the relationship between the company and Google became complicated. After being close partners for years, they’ve become fierce competitors in several key markets such as smartphones, tablets and advertising.

It started in 2008 when the iPhone maker has been concerned that the search engine giant may have been compromising user privacy using its map program. On the other hand, Google find Apple as being too controlling. The disagreement pushed the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs to look for acquisitions that will help them build their own mapping team.

This resulted to a handful of reports that the company will release a “greatly enhanced” Maps app with 3D capability at the 2012 WWDC next week. Other than that, the iPhone maker is also expected to showcase new Macs, iOS 6, and new camera and photo apps during the conference at Moscone West in San Francisco.

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