Since its inception Apple’s wildly famous iPhone has utilized Google Maps as its built-in navigation application. However, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal, when Apple releases iOS 6 next week, the next iteration of its mobile operating system, Google Maps will be left out in favour of Apple’s own in-house navigation software.
Staunch competitors, such a move really comes as no surprise, as over the past five years Google Maps has proven to be immensely popular with iPhone users, with some 90 percent utilizing the service, which itself in turn has driven more and more users to Google’s search engine. But despite the fact that Apple has used Google’s navigation application to enhance the user experience on the iPhone, it looks like those days are quickly coming to an end; the only question that remains is why now?
With the growing enmity between the two companies one has to wonder if the removal of Google Maps on iOS 6 is a move Google has made to drive consumers back towards Android, or if Apple now simply thinks it can do a better job.
There’s no question that Apple would like to deliver a better navigation experience for its users, the only problem so far has been that it hasn’t had access to Google’s entire suite of navigation products. Only able to access Google basic Map application, iPhone users have often looked longingly at their Android counterparts, the latter having access to things like Street View and real time turn-by-turn navigation, but it looks like things might change.
While its unclear whether Google has held its applications back from the iOS world to gain a competitive edge against the seemingly indomitable iPhone or whether Apple simply chose not to implement it, if we do see Apple roll out a similar suite of navigation products next week my bet would be that Google was the stubborn one in this situation. Although with Apple bolstering its navigation related intellectual property over the past several years, perhaps Apple simply wasn’t interested.
That said, while we have to wait until June 11th to find out what Apple has in store I would guess that Apple will look to trump anything that Google currently offers, lest iPhone users start pining over Google’s long lost navigation system.
In fact, with navigation being one of the central features of the smartphone, look for Apple to really try to knock this one out of the park, sending Google a message that it’s not the only one that can create useful navigation tools.
In the end, while it remains to be seen whether Google or Apple initiated this break, given the growing enmity between these two companies one had to assume that sooner or later Apple would cut all ties with the search engine giant, given the fact that the former is certainly not known for helping others increase their revenues if an in-house option is available.