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Report: Apple Had Over a Year Left on Contract for Google Maps

Report: Apple Had Over a Year Left on Contract for Google Maps

Apple’s move to put its own mapping solution in iOS 6 and the iPhone 5 in place of Google Maps took place over a year before the company’s agreement for Google’s mapping app expired. The decision has sent Google scrambling to develop an iOS Google Maps app.

The Verge:

As rumors and leaks of Apple’s decision to announce the new iOS 6 maps at WWDC in June filtered out, Google decided to respond with a display of strength — the search giant hastily announced its own mapping event just days before Apple’s event. Dubbed “the next dimension of Google Maps,” the event was designed to showcase new technologies like low-level aerial 3D photography and Street View backpacks — a chest-thumping exercise meant to highlight Google’s significant head start in collecting mapping information, but which offered very little in the way of consumer-facing features.

Apple had reportedly felt the the Google-powered Maps in iOS were rapidly falling behind the Android version, especially the lack of turn-by-turn navigation, which Google had been making available on Android phones for several years. Google had also been lobbying for more prominent branding, and the ability to add features like Latitude to the app, and executives at the search company were also unhappy with Apple’s renewal terms.

The existing deal between the two companies was still in place, and didn’t have any additional requirements, but Apple decided to make the move to end the relationship and ship their in-house mapping solution with the turn-by-turn navigation feature.

These reports were confirmed by Google chairman Eric Schmidt, who was quoted by Reuters as saying “what were we going to do, force them not to change their mind? It’s their call. Schmidt went on to say that Google had not yet done anything with an iOS Google Maps app, and that it would be ultimately up to Apple to approve such an app.

Google Maps VP Brian McClendon has also stressed that Google is committed to offering Google Maps on all platforms, and indicates that an iOS app will eventually appear on the platform.