Preview at WWDC likely in June, followed by September launch.
Apple Did Acquire 3D Mapping Company C3 Technologies
Realtime map screenshot from C3 Technologies
Now, it seems that Apple was indeed the buyer of the company, according to 9to5Mac's sources.
Sure enough, we have now learned Apple is now the owner of C3 Technologies. Sources say that C3 Technologies CEO Mattias Astrom , C3 Technologies CFO Kjell Cederstrand, and lead C3 Technologies Product Manager Ludvig Emgard are now working within Apple’s iOS division. The leading trio, along with most of the former C3 Technologies team, is still working as a team in Sweden (interestingly, the division is now called “Sputnik”), where the C3 Technologies company was located prior to the Apple acquisition.C3 Technologies made a big splash at CES 2011 when it began demoing its technology on both Android and iOS devices. The company uses formerly classified missile targeting technology to achieve its impressive 3D mapping effects. The company's official YouTube videos have been pulled, but some examples remain. This video shows a flythrough of Oslo, Norway (video improperly labeled):
Another example of New York City with overlays is on YouTube. And here's a demo of the technology running on an early iPad version:
The technology had also been previously licensed by Yell.com and Nokia.
Apple's interest in the technology is obvious. The company has been dependent on Google's mapping technology for their iOS devices, but has been steadily making acquisitions to replace that technology. Apple has been heavily recruiting for their Geo Team and has even revealed in iOS 5 that they are planning their own full mapping solution.