Preview at WWDC likely in June, followed by September launch.
Google Said to Have Already Submitted Native iOS Maps App to Apple [Updated]
The first report comes by way of The Guardian, which says that Google is indeed preparing its own Maps app for iOS 6.
Google, I hear from roundabout sources, is enjoying the bad press Apple is suffering. It would be surprising if its mappers could resist some schadenfreude, since they are very proud of their work; having it rejected wholesale must be galling.The Guardian's report was tweeted by well-connected iOS developer Steve Troughton-Smith, who added a "Yep" to the assertion and framed it as if the app has already been submitted to Apple.
The same sources say that Google is preparing a Google Maps app for iOS6, which will appear in time. No official statement has been made and there will inevitably be questions over whether Apple will approve it in the App Store. (Apple might not, on the basis that it "competes with existing functionality", but would invite a further backlash if it did.)
9to5Mac has also weighed in with its own claims that Google has had a standalone version of its Maps app for iOS for a number of years and that an iOS 6-compatible version has indeed been submitted to the App Store.
Finally, TechCrunch is also claiming that a Google app is in the works, with the company aiming to have it available on the App Store "before Christmas". Apple has, however, been known to hold other Google apps in limbo for extended periods of time, so it remains to be seen if and when Google's solution will be available as an alternative to the built-in Maps app from Apple in iOS 6.
Update: The Loop's Jim Dalrymple, who is well sourced at Apple, pours a bit of water on the story that Google has submitted its own Maps app to Apple.