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June 18, 2012

Apple Drops Google Maps in iOS 6, Escalates Rivalry with Google


Things are heating up in the battle between Google (News - Alert) and Apple. The most recent shot fired was the announcement during Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) that the newest version of iOS, due this fall, will not feature Google Maps by default, instead featuring Apple's (News - Alert) own maps service.

Those who still prefer Google Maps on their iPhone or iPad will have to download the app separately.

This is quite a departure of the Google-Apple relationship of old. When the iPhone (News - Alert) debuted in 2007, Google CEO Eric Schmidt appeared onstage alongside former Apple CEO Steve Jobs in what seemed to be a gesture of solidarity between the two companies. Android (News - Alert) of course changed this.

Now that Google's mobile OS has caught on and is eating into the iPhone's market share with hot devices like the Samsung Galaxy S III, the two companies are definitely competitors with no room for friendly gestures – at least, that's how Apple is behaving.

Before he died last October, Jobs stated he saw Android as a sort of "grand theft" from Apple's iOS, adding that he declared "thermonuclear war" against Google.

The loss of Google Maps on iOS does represent a major blow for Google, which will miss out on mobile advertizing revenue and insight into people's travel behavior from millions of devices.

 iOS 6 is also set to receive extensive Facebook (News - Alert) integration rather than Google+ integration. And considering Google’s and Apple's former relationship, it's likely we would see an iOS ripe with Google+ integration today, if not for Android.

Google has made no response to Apple's decision to move away from Google Maps, but Google's own developer conference, Google IO, is set to take place next week. Google may just address this escalation in rivalry then – in the form of a 7" tablet, perhaps?




Edited by Braden Becker
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