Schmidt: Google isn't planning Maps for iOS

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Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said the company has not taken any steps to submit a native mapping application for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS platform after Apple dumped Google Maps in favor of its own homegrown location services.

Apple rolled out its own Maps effort last week as part of its new iOS 6 operating system upgrade. Consumers have since identified dozens of inaccuracies including missing roads, misplaced landmarks and mislabeled businesses, and some are already calling on Apple to restore native Google Maps functionality, even creating an online group called "Give Me Back My Google Maps."

Speaking to reporters in Tokyo, Schmidt said Google and Apple are in constant communication "at all kinds of levels," but that any decision on Google Maps' return to iOS or approval of a native Google Maps app is in Apple's hands. "We have not done anything yet," Schmidt said, adding "We think it would have been better if they had kept ours. But what do I know? What were we going to do, force them not to change their mind? It's their call."

Google Maps was a fixture on iOS devices since the first iPhone launched in mid-2007, but competitive tensions between the two mobile giants prompted Apple to dump preloaded Google services like Maps and YouTube from iOS 6. A native YouTube app for iOS was issued earlier this month, and Google Maps data remains available to iOS device owners through the Safari browser.

"We want [Apple] to be our partner. We welcome that," Schmidt said. "I'm not going to speculate at all what they're going to do. They can answer that question as they see fit."

Apple has so far shown no signs it plans to reverse course and maintains that Maps is a work in progress. "We are continuously improving it, and as Maps is a cloud-based solution, the more people use it, the better it will get," an Apple spokesperson said last week. "We appreciate all of the customer feedback and are working hard to make the customer experience even better." Apple also acknowledged the absence of key features like transit information and said it is working with developer partners to incorporate that data.

For more:
- read this Reuters article

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