Apple had more than a year left on Google Maps contract, sent Google scrambling to build iOS app

“Apple’s decision to ship its own mapping system in the iPhone 5 and iOS 6 was made over a year before the company’s agreement to use Google Maps expired, according to two independent sources familiar with the matter,” Chris Ziegler reports for The Verge.

“The decision, made sometime before Apple’s WWDC event in June, sent Google scrambling to develop an iOS Google Maps app — an app which both sources say is still incomplete and currently not scheduled to ship for several months,” Ziegler reports. “Apple apparently felt that the older Google Maps-powered Maps in iOS were falling behind Android — particularly since they didn’t have access to turn-by-turn navigation, which Google has shipped on Android phones for several years.”

Ziegler reports, “The existing deal between the two companies was still valid and didn’t have any additional requirements, according to our sources — Apple decided to simply end it and ship the new maps with turn-by-turn.”

Read more in the full article here.

58 Comments

  1. They could have made it a downloadable option like iBooks instead of removing it entirely from iOS 6. That would have mitigated many complaints about an unready maps app.

    That said, maps is not central to my iOS experience. Other things like mail, music & productivity apps take precedence.

      1. All this noise about the problems with Maps.

        Phooey

        I haven’t had a problem yet, even though I may. The thing is, Google Maps on iOS would never be as good as on Android, that in itself made it a broken/inferior product. Out of the gate iOS Maps is a better product than Google Maps for iOS. iOS Maps is just going to get better. That’s a given. It won’t be long before iOS Maps is considered better than any version of Google Maps.

        1. I love the new maps but I don’t live in Thailand or one of many poorly covered areas that got a shit sandwich in the crippled new iOS maps.

          If Apple fixes the coverage in the rest of the world then it will be a credible product. It’s not there yet tho.

        2. The Google approach to maps on iOS versus Android closely mirrors the Microsoft approach for Office, Exchange/Outlook, and other applications on OS X versus Windows. Leave the Mac version behind and crippled to slowly and subtly push users towards the “preferred” platform.

          The Google situation also closely resembles Apple’s relationship with Samsung. Previously partners with Apple, both companies have stolen IP to compete with Apple. If Apple wants to maintain its position of strength, it has to strike back in big ways whenever and wherever possible. With Samsung, Apple pursued litigation which also indirectly impacts Google via Android. With Google, Apple has now struck at all four core functions underpinning the Google ecosystem – mobile advertising, media (video, music, books), search (Siri), and maps. If Apple continues scoring on the legal front, as well, then Google just might begin regretting its opportunistic backstabbing.

    1. But what would Steve say?
      Two items. Steve got burned more than once over not having control over an application. Critical apps will come under Apple control. Its happening now. iWork, maps, camera, music, etc.

      The other item is “I am going thermonuclear war over android”…. As Siri pulls users from Google search, and maps keeps data away from google, one by one, google loses users and that means their chargeable advertising rate goes down as they lose users (eyes). One step at a time.

      Apple will never kill google, just take away billions of dollars in revenue…….. you know…… sort of like RIM.?????

      Just a thought,

    2. Wrong, BLN. Google wouldn’t give Apple turn-by-turn, so why should Apple continue to support Google? And then you want Apple to support two Maps apps?

      Apple needed to make a clean break, and this was a way to stick it to Google for Google’s refusal to give iOS users turn-by-turn navigation. Well played, Apple!

  2. I am a fan of the new Maps app. I’ve used it in five states now and it’s been wonderful. The turn by turn directions are accurate and the mapping is fast. I thought it was going to be lacking in the traffic reporting department, but that has been spot on as well. It may sting a little for Apple because the app seems incomplete to some, but as they build on it over time, I expect it to become an extremely polished app.

    1. Not really…

      “according to our sources”
      and
      “Apple apparently felt that”

      Are a clear bullshit signal.

      Author has no authenticated sources and is attributing thinking to Apple or Tim Cook when he has no more idea than you or I have what their decision making process was (nor even the parameters they based those decisions on).

      Complete and utter bullshit.

      1. The assertions that the license had already expired and that was another reason GMaps were dumped, were backed with even less authority, but it didn’t stop anyone saying so.

        Pot, kettle, black.

    2. The author claims the decision was made a year in advance. That sounds like almost too late: The time it would take to build up a database and infrastructure for crowd-sourced data updates and integrate it into the OS had to be substantial. I’m not at all surprised that the decision didn’t wait until expiration.

  3. So Google forced Apple’s hand, rather than Apple getting monopolistic. Same old story from back in the Microsoft days, when MS made sure the Mac version of software was always behind the Windows version.

  4. Who’s scrambling? I understand the that Apple paid Bloggers, reviewers and pundits have no love for Google but man some of the stuff that gets inked is 100% propaganda.

    Apple Inc. share price I was sure was going to overtake the scrambling Google post iPhone 5 release but…

    Apple Inc. $673.54 Google Inc. $749.16

    Go figure! Not bad for a scrambling company who have not announced the release of anything new since the 7″ Nexus Tablet.

    1. Apple is worth mearly three times what Google is — to be precise, $630 billion vs $245 billion.

      Share price alone means zip. Doh. The value of the stock is the MARKET CAP (number of shares x share price) not the share price alone. You either don’t know that (troll by ignorance) are you are a trying to bait (a troll on purpose).

    2. in 2009 Google had peaked over 700 and apple peaking around 170 for the first time.

      Not bad for Apple Quadrupled from its peak in 3 years while Google just beat its own peak for the first time,

      Go Figure!!

    1. A lot of peeps ride the bus. For me that was a cool feature. I only had to use it once just to give a friend help on what bus to take. So i could really careless. I could see some people who would miss it though.
      But like its been said over and over, Google maps was absolute shit on iOS though. Holding the phone upside down to keep the dot going in the same direction as you are so not to get confused (at least that’s what I would do). Sometimes in the middle I’d have to give my phone the figure 8 motion to get the GPS back on track. That would only happen on google maps cuz I never had to do that on any other GPS app.

  5. Google better start looking forward to the Apple Search Engine. They have iOS Maps and the search Engine is the only missing part in the Apple iOS universe. Death by a thousand cuts.

    1. I hope if apple release a search engine it is not as poor internationally as thier maps. Especially if they remove the option to use googles search engine. I’m not bothered about whatever disagreement is going on between google and apple I just want my iOS device to deliver a best in class experience and compared to the maps on competitors phones that currently is not happening.

          1. I do agree, they are building out for “Big” usage in the future and those centers would allow a handy little Search Engine by Apple. When Google’s Patent expires on their Search method… Well, I expect a handful of pain for them.

  6. I haven’t had any problems with iMaps, but i am not a big user. I am not a poor so my vehicles all have GPS in them and I dont need a phone for GPS turn by turn nav. It is more of a novelty than anything else.

    Are there that many people in the world who rely on a smartphone maps app to find their way to cause so much hysteria?

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