Wall Street Journal confirms Apple dumping Google Maps

Apple is planning to replace Google Maps as the default maps app in iOS with its own in-house technology, according to current and former Apple employees and reported by The Wall Street Journal. The Journal's report follows rumors that the change was impending.

The formerly symbiotic relationship - with Google's technology powering one of the integral features of Apple's smartphones, which in turn drove large amounts of traffic to Google's search engine - is about to come to an end later this year, and the official announcement could come as soon as next week at Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference.

According to the Wall Street Journal's sources, who were not named, the plan to replace Google Maps in iOS has been in the works for years, and the plan was accelerated when shipments of Android smartphones began to overtake shipments of the iPhone.

Apple has bought at least three map companies with cutting edge technologies, starting in 2009 with PlaceBase, a company that created an API for combining various types of data and location information. In 2010, Apple bought Poly9, which specialized in mapping visualization technology. And in 2011, Apple acquired C3 Technologies, a company that developed automated 3D mapping algorithms and was in the process of building a database of 3D maps of the entire globe.

Data from Opus Research shows that an estimated 25% of the approximately $2.5 billion spent on mobile ads in 2012 will be spent on ads associated with maps or locations. The portion of locational ads in 2010 was only 10%, and the figure is expected to continue growing as the number of location-aware apps increases. The Wall Street Journal reports that more than 90% of iPhone owners use Google Maps, so the incentive to shift that userbase to an in-house solution is readily apparent.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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this is a sign of things to come. google is no longer the leader in mapping and are only holding their position due to momentum and old bundle deals like this. google is more interested in trying to be facebook to spam users with more ads than being a tool for the web.

it is only natural that google service usage is in declien and more of its partners are going elsewhere since google, like microsoft before it will compete with partner that is too successful.

see ya google.

I do wonder how exactly they'd do this... given the sheer years and years of development that have gone into Google Maps, not to mention Streetview as has already been mentioned (which I use a heck of a lot) - good luck with this one Apple!

Chicane-UK said,
I do wonder how exactly they'd do this... given the sheer years and years of development that have gone into Google Maps, not to mention Streetview as has already been mentioned (which I use a heck of a lot) - good luck with this one Apple!

Apple bought C3 technologies 2 years ago. You'll be really impressed with what they have to show you next week. I've seen a preview and I was blown away. It's a 3D GPS with PlayStation 3 graphics.

Plus, I believe these guys that develop maps are ready to sell their databases for a few hundred millions. Apple haven't started from scratch.

I guess assuming you can download and install Google Maps on the App Store, we shouldn't worry too much (so we can always revert back to Google Maps if we don't like Apple's one)

In the end, it'll benefit us (users and consumers)

I wonder if there will be an online service on a website too.

Sure thing, they will implement this in Aperture, iPhoto and iOS. They should implement it in OS X 10.8 as well as an application as a whole IMO. They want it to be like iOS ? Then they need to have the same apps, and since OS X is a desktop OS, it needs more. But it starts with the same apps.

If they can pull it off well, it will be huge. Google Maps on iOS is great, but it's missing a lot of features. Navigation (using Siri) and Street View would be really nice.

Astra.Xtreme said,
If they can pull it off well, it will be huge. Google Maps on iOS is great, but it's missing a lot of features. Navigation (using Siri) and Street View would be really nice.

Street view is available on the app now where street view is available.

Astra.Xtreme said,
Street View would be really nice.

We already have Street View in (Google) Maps. It's been there since iOS 2.2.

(Edit: beaten to the punch)

Astra.Xtreme said,
If they can pull it off well, it will be huge. Google Maps on iOS is great, but it's missing a lot of features. Navigation (using Siri) and Street View would be really nice.

For Street view, touch and hold to drop a pin, tap on the pin, tap the little orange guy. I do agree that Navigation is sorely missing on the built-in Maps app on iOS.

MaSx said,
Always good to have more competition but I just hope its as good as Google Map, if not better.

If Bing Maps is still behind Google after having 5 years of time, there's no way Apple's mapping software could catch up in ~1 year (idk the actual amount of years Microsoft's maps have been alive)

andrewbares said,

If Bing Maps is still behind Google after having 5 years of time, there's no way Apple's mapping software could catch up in ~1 year (idk the actual amount of years Microsoft's maps have been alive)

Kinda agree, however, Microsoft isn't Apple. Apple now possess three of the top mapping companies in the world - C3 is the company that brought us Nokia stunning 3D mapping technology.

The thing that is going to hold Apple back is their unwillingness to bring their services to other platforms.

How true - you look at locations from bing maps in facebook, and the details is far lower then the same location in google maps. I doubt the new apple solution would even be as good as the bing maps (unless you live in Cupertino, where no doubt the maps are the highest quality/detail available!)

andrewbares said,

If Bing Maps is still behind Google after having 5 years of time, there's no way Apple's mapping software could catch up in ~1 year (idk the actual amount of years Microsoft's maps have been alive)

I find bing maps better in my area. google maps are always fuzzy and their imaging just doesn't compete with bing's birds eye view.

neonspark said,

I find bing maps better in my area. google maps are always fuzzy and their imaging just doesn't compete with bing's birds eye view.

I use Bing Maps when I want a Birds Eye view and Google Maps for everything else. Bing Maps aerial quality is horrible and more outdated than Google's aerial photography for most areas that I work with.

Bing Maps doesn't have Street Maps. No one can touch Google there. I'm glad I have an open mind of the right product to use when I need a specific type of photography.

NightCrawlerInfinity said,

I use Bing Maps when I want a Birds Eye view and Google Maps for everything else. Bing Maps aerial quality is horrible and more outdated than Google's aerial photography for most areas that I work with.

Bing Maps doesn't have Street Maps. No one can touch Google there. I'm glad I have an open mind of the right product to use when I need a specific type of photography.


Um Bing does have street maps...

It's called street side.