Apple is expected to show off its own mapping app at the 2012 WWDC June 11. While Apple would stop shipping iPhones and iPads with the Google software, fans of the app are expected to find it in the App Store.
Apple reportedly has a plan to
muscle Google Maps, the most-used application after iTunes, off its
next-generation iPhone, the Wall Street Journal
has reported, citing people
familiar with the matter.
With the Apple-Google relationship
souring, following Google's entry into the smartphone space with first the
Android platformnow the market's top-shipping OSand more recently Google's acquisition of smartphone maker Motorola
Apple is said to have created its own mapping app.
It's now believed that Apple will
show off the app at its Worldwide Developers Conference, which will begin June
11 in San Francisco.
In October, 9to5Mac
and others reported that Apple had
purchased the Swedish 3D mapping solutions company C3 Technologies. Spun out of
the aerospace and defense company Saab AB in 2007, the company uses
declassified missile targeting methods to create 3D maps.
While Googlecreating some controversy along the way
its mapping app by traveling just about every road in America taking pictures,
C3, on its Website, explained that its "automated software and advanced
algorithms" enable it to "rapidly assemble extremely precise 3D
models, and seamlessly integrate them with traditional 2D maps, satellite
images, street-level photography and user-generated images that together are
forever changing how people use maps and explore the world."
Apple has given Google Maps
tremendous distribution, thanks to gangbuster iPhone sales. Seemingly
anticipating, if not knowing, that Apple is about to stop shipping its iPhones
and iPads with the app preinstalled, Google held a news conference in San Francisco June 6
to show off an improved version of Google Maps. The app will soon include 3D
maps of major cities, and a version will be available for using offline.
"I'm very proud of Google Maps
services, and they are available basically on all devices and we will continue
to make Google Maps services as widely available as possible," said Brian
McClendon, vice president of engineering for Google Maps.
McClendon declined to confirm the
reports that Apple will no longer natively install the Google app.
Piper Jaffray analysts Gene Munster
and Douglas J. Clinton, in a June 6 research note, said whether or not Apple
installs the Google app, Google will find a place on the iPhone.
"While it appears increasingly
likely that Apple [will replace] Google Maps with its own mapping application
in the next version of iOS, we believe Google Maps is likely to live on as a
product in Apple's App Store," they wrote.
Google currently offers Gmail,
Search, Google+, Google Translate and Google Earth in the App Store.
"Given Google's recent
statement that 1 billion people use Google Maps per month, we believe it is
possible that Maps as its own application in the App Store could be more
popular than any of Google's other applications," Munster and Clinton
In a separate note the same day, the
pair wrote that they expect Apple's iOS to generate approximately 2 percent of
Google's net revenue in 2012, and that this estimate won't be affected by the
introduction of an Apple mapping app. However, they do expect Google to become "more
aggressive" in getting apps into the App Store, including Chrome.
Over the long term, they added, they
expect iOS to become a significant platform for mobile advertising growth, and
that Google will "find ways to participate" in those ad dollars.