'Current and former Apple employees' have confirmed that the company will do away with Google Maps when it releases iOS 6, in favour of it own Maps app, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The new app could make an appearance at WWDC next week, when Apple demos its next-generation mobile operating system, according to WSJ’s source that is ‘familiar with the plans’.
“Apple has been hatching the plan to evict Google Maps from the iPhone for years,” says WSJ. Apple sped up its venture into the map market when Google Android smartphones began to overtake the iPhone’s shipments, according to the report.
Opus Research has found that mobile ads associated with maps or locations account for about a quarter of the money spent on adverts in 2012, up from 15 per cent in 2010.
But this is not the only reason behind Apple’s decision to target the map market, says WSJ. More than 90 per cent of iPhone users in the US use Google Maps on their device, leading Apple to believe that it needs to gain control of the map experience by adding features that Google doesn’t provide. Apple also wants to encourage developers to build third-party mapping apps for iPhone users, by embedding the company’s map app inside applications such as search and social-networking services.
WSJ reports that Google will lose some ad revenue and search data, as well as denting the company’s map-related revenue, according to ex-Google employees.
iOS 6 could also bring Siri to the iPad, according to reports. Bringing the iPhone 4S’s virtual assistant to more iOS devices could also reduce searches carried out using Google. WSJ reports that iPhone users generate the majority of Google’s mobile search-ad revenue, but Google is planning on developing its own Siri-like voice assistant for Android.
Apple’s mapping app could be integrated with other Apple software, says WSJ’s source who has been briefed on the strategy. An example given is if a user has scheduled a meeting in iCal, and added a location, Apple’s map app could alert the user to traffic problems that could cause a delay in their journey to the appointment.
Google’s mapping service on iPhone does have some limitations, which have been put in place by Google itself in order to make Android’s mapping service more advanced. Google’s turn-by-turn feature is not allowed in iOS devices, as well as the Street View feature. In creating its own map app, Apple will be able to implement similar features in its devices.
Apple has already acquired several mapping companies, including C3, which has been described as “Google Earth on steroids”, Placebase and Poly9.
Last week, we reported that Boy Genius Reports has revealed photographs of what it claims is Apple’s new 3D mapping app. The app, along with the WWDC 2012 app, suggests a new silver colour scheme may be coming to iOS.