Is Apple Planning A New Destination For Maps?
It has to grate somewhat given the on-going battle for mobile dominance that when tapping on the “Maps” icon on an Apple iOS device the word “Google” appears. Or perhaps it doesn’t really matter after all because if you fire up Safari on those same devices a Google search box also appears and sits right next to the address bar. Is it really an issue if a provider utilises a competitors technology?
The internet is buzzing with news, mostly rumours and un-cited sources, that Apple may well be getting ready to drop Google as its mapping provider in favour of something more in-house. The stories being reported including those from V3.co.uk, AllThingsD.com, and techcrunch.com, stem back from a report posted on 9to5Mac.com titled “iOS 6: Apple drops Google Maps, debuts in-house ‘Maps’ with incredible 3D mode” which points to the Apple acquisition of Placebase, back in July 2009, as a potential platform for a replacement.
However, the idea that Apple may be planning to replace Google Maps is not new and goes back as far as 2009 where Seth Weintraub, for Computerworld, reported in the article “Apple purchased Placebase in July to replace Google Maps?” that “I think Apple wants to free itself from depending on Google for its maps on the iPhone and iPod touch devices”.
Rumours are also circulating that a beta version 6 of iOS may be announced soon, possibly at the Apple Developer Conference, WWDC 2012, which runs from 11th-15th June 2012, whilst iOS was recently updated to version 5.1.1.