Report: Apple ditching Google Maps for iOS 6
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is poised to end its reliance on Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Maps data with the release of its forthcoming iOS 6 mobile operating system, and it will introduce its own mapping application developed completely in-house.
Citing sources familiar with the matter, 9to5Mac is reporting that Apple has leveraged acquisitions Placebase, C3 Technologies and Poly9 to develop its own mapping database highlighted by a 3D view mode. 9to5Mac notes the 3D imaging relies heavily on software created by C3 Technologies, spun out of aerospace and defense firm Saab in 2007 and purchased by Apple late last year. C3 previously said its technology applies "previously classified image processing technology to the development of 3D maps as a platform for new social and commercial applications... automated software and advanced algorithms enable C3 to rapidly assemble extremely precise 3D models, and seamlessly integrate them with traditional 2D maps, satellite images, street level photography and user-generated images."
Apple is expected to unveil iOS 6 next month during its annual World Wide Developers Conference. 9to5Mac adds Apple is likely to end its reliance on Google Street View as well, presumably replacing the service with C3's street-view images.
Onlookers have long expected Apple to roll out its own mapping and navigation service. In June 2011, MacRumors reported that a "Map Data" section discovered within Apple's iOS 5 lists licenses from nine different third-party companies that provide location-enabled services. The firms include Waze, which offers real-time maps and traffic updates culled from crowd-source data; Urban Mapping, which supplies neighborhood-specific data including crime, school performance and economic indicators; and TomTom, whose TeleAtlas data is also licensed to Google.
The March 2012 release of Apple's iPhoto application further fueled the rumor mill by leveraging mapping information culled from Apple's own servers, not Google Maps. Apple last renewed its Google Maps agreement in mid-2011; the current deal is believed to expire at the end of this year.
Google's Android operating system dominates U.S. smartphone sales with a market share of 51 percent, followed by iOS at 30.7 percent, according to the latest comScore data. But in March, The Guardian calculated that services such as Google Maps integrated into iOS devices earn Google more than four times as much revenue as Android handsets. Based on figures supplied by Google to Oracle as part of their ongoing Android patent infringement suit, Google earned less than $550 million in revenues from Android between 2008 and 2011, and derives less than $10 per Android device each year. Google has activated more than 250 million Android devices worldwide.
- read this 9to5Mac article
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